My latest novel, Double-Edged Sword, just received a review from Kirkus Reviews. Thank you for the amazing review!
In the wake of the Civil War, a former Confederate soldier encounters problems with the law in Hawkins’ historical-fiction series installment.
In this fourth volume in the Renegade series, the author centers on her main character, ex-Confederate cavalryman David Summers, and his Pennsylvania-born wife Anna, who, after surviving the recently ended war, are making their way in Richmond, Virginia. There, they see the devastation all around them: “The Stars and Stripes waved atop flagpoles, only four months ago replacing the grand Blood-Stained Banner, a flagrant reminder of the recent victory won.” They’re hoping to make a better life for themselves in David’s hometown in Morgan County, Alabama. Little do they know that they will soon cross paths again with Stephen Montgomery, a nefarious, charismatic sergeant-major from earlier series entries—a schemer who had designs not only on Anna but on her family’s property. After he re-enters the couple’s lives, a violent confrontation leads to David being put on trial before a judge and jury who are far from sympathetic to the former Confederate soldier. Even though David swore an oath of allegiance to the United States of America, it’s not just the prosecuting attorney who suspects him of “still fighting the war.” As in the previous books in this series, Hawkins manages to craft a simple story that has plenty of energy and heart; it effectively features tested romance, rivalry, and courtroom drama. Its consistent readability goes a long way to compensate for the fact that David often comes off as belligerent and unpleasant. The … novel’s evocation to the postwar South (“Lonesome chimneys jutted from the landscape; ravaged reminders of the horrors his people had seen”) are uniformly well done. An atmospheric and often engaging drama of the Reconstruction-era South.