The Prairies Book Review
Gordon continues Percy Hope’s story, taking readers into the exhilarating world of gold rush, sinister conspiracies, and deadly betrayals. It is 1898. Once a desolate city, Cape Nome is now popular among aspiring gold miners from all over America after the Three Swedes, John Brynteson, Jafet Lindeberg, and Erik Lindblom make a fortune while mining there. Percy, after his earlier exploits in Hope City, is back and working as a journalist for San Francisco Examiner.
His first assignment lands him in Cape Nome. Meanwhile, Magnus Vega is also in Cape Nome, working as a salon manager. When the corrupt Alexander McKenzie, a Court Appointed Receiver, arrives in the city, looking to challenge the Three Lucky Swedes’ claim of gold, all hell breaks loose. A series of killings and the kidnapping of young children add to the chaos. Percy must get to the bottom of the case before he himself becomes a murder victim.
Gordon brings every element of a must-read historical thriller to the table: murder, conspiracies, betrayals, high stakes, tight plotting, entertaining characters, and atmospheric setting. The plot is full of twists, turns, and genuinely exhilarating moments, the writing is assured, and the pacing measured. There’s never a lull in the action, and the large cast of entertaining characters provides plenty of fun, with high tension and relentless suspense keeping the pages turning. The plot thickens as Percy begins to dig deep into the various senseless murders and kidnappings, with hints of deception and betrayal among one of his own. Though there is a large array of supporting characters, Gordon handles his cast fairly well, building a swiftly paced mystery around both the challenge to the three Swedes’ claim of gold and kidnapping of children.
He crafts an intimate portrait of Percy, Wyatt, Josephine, Magnus, and Peggy amid the chaos of murder, kidnapping, and government conspiracies. Percy is as endearing as ever, and may be more world-weary. Magnus does full justice to his troubled and slightly anti-hero image. Wyatt and Josephine make for an adorable pair. Sharp, often selfish Peggy, meanwhile, breathes new life into the classic cunning female antagonist.
Along the way, Gordon examines integrity, perseverance, strength, atonement, and vengeance, offering a layered look at how greed for wealth and power destroys innocent lives. A shocking revelation toward the ending promises Percy’s another adventure, escalating readers’ fervor for the next installment. This electrifying historical thriller is a winner.