Four stars (of five)
Martin has his wonderful duo, Peter Fallon and Evangeline Carrington, back for another treasure hunt through time. As the US Congress begins debate on repealing the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights (that infamous right to bear arms), Fallon is made aware of an early draft of the US Constitution, annotated with the intentions of the New England delegation of Founding Fathers as it relates to a Bill of Rights. This draft was stolen and smuggled out of Philadelphia, making its way through various hands all over New England. As Fallon and Carrington seek to track the document down, scholars and prominent members of the rare document community begin turning up dead. Carrington soon falls into the hands of one invested party, keen on ensuing that Fallon finds the document before it’s too late. As Fallon searches, Martin illustrates the historical movement of this draft and how its content could have altered some key constitutional events through to the present day. From the early days of the American political experience, through to the Civil War, the Prohibition Era, and even Clinton’s impeachment allegations, Martin takes the reader through a multi-generational story, offering insights at every turn. Explosive to the final pages, Martin flexes his literary muscles to draw fans in for his most electrifying series novel to date.
A keen reader of constitutional books, fictional and factual alike, I was drawn to this book years ago. I tried reading it at that time, but struggled. Having made the effort to read the Fallon series from the beginning, I was better prepared for this book and the format it takes. Martin has made a name for himself as both a historical writer, but also choosing to take a much deeper approach, writing a modern-day story that juxtaposes its historically evolving sub-plot that mirrors Fallon’s plot. The plot is highly political in its nature, but the novel deals more with the passing of the document from generation to generation with a historical backdrop than the political content of the annotated document. Fans of the series will catch some of the crumbs Martin offers from past novels and the nuances in the character development, which is always a lovely addition to the reading experience.
Kudos, Mr. Martin on another exciting addition to the Fallon series. I find myself more addicted with each passing novel.