Friday, March 13, 2015

Political Intrigue and a Missing Letter from George Washington

Matt Hawkins, an antiques dealer in Savannah, Georgia, buys a box of old atlases. The last one looks uninteresting, but when he opens it to the center, he finds a small leather-bound journal. The journal dates from the Revolutionary War and was written by Caty Greene, wife of General Nathaniel Green, one of Washington's officers.

In the journal, Caty recounts the story of Washington writing a surrender letter addressed to General Howe during the terrible winter at Valley Forge. The letter was never delivered, but General Greene, who was the courier, kept the letter. Caty ends up with it and so has a very explosive piece of history.

Matt shows the journal to Sarah Gordon, a local historian. They decide that it should be authenticated, but this brings the existence of the letter to the attention of politicians. The country is in the middle of a presidential campaign. One of the candidates claims direct descent from George Washington and is using that relationship to move ahead in the polls. The existence of the letter could change the tenor of the race.

Imposters of Patriotism is told from the viewpoint of the present day interspersed with chapters giving Caty Greene's perspective. It is both a historical novel and a romantic suspense story. As the story progresses, Sarah and Matt recognize their mutual attraction. They become partners with Sarah's father in trying to find the original letter. This attraction between the principals is a typical plot line for romantic suspense.

The historical details seem reasonably accurate save for the fact that Washington himself had no direct descendants. That doesn't hurt the story, since it is fiction, but if you're looking for historical accuracy, this is pretty much fabrication. However, the setting is interesting and seems accurate for both time periods.

This is a fun if predictable read if you like historical fiction or romantic suspense. However, if you're looking for serious historical fiction you'll be disappointed.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.