Series: Matt Hawkins #1
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 15, 2014
Challenges: COYER Summer Scavenger Hunt | NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge
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Blurb from goodreads:
Savannah, Georgia antiques store owner Matt Hawkins discovers a two-hundred-year-old journal containing a stunning accusation. The journal claims that America's most revered hero, George Washington, wrote a secret surrender letter to the British during the Revolutionary War-a seditious act that would have ended America's fight for independence.
Meanwhile, the present-day race for president of the United States is a dead heat. The Republican nominee, a direct descendant of Washington's family, has shamelessly exploited his ties to the Founding Father-a strategy that has worked brilliantly to eliminate a once wide gap in the polls. As the past collides with the present, Hawkins and lovely historian Sarah Gordon are determined to unearth the truth about the journal's remarkable claim. But they must avoid a shadowy adversary who has a billion dollars riding on the election's outcome-and who will stop at nothing to ensure that Washington's surrender letter remains a secret. Ted Richardson's debut novel can perhaps best be described as historical fiction wrapped inside a modern-day mystery. Richardson ingeniously blends actual historical events with innovative mystery to create a fast-moving, well-plotted tale of suspense.
I have a new conspiracy/action/thriller author! This was Richardson's debut novel but it really didn't feel like one. The plot was plausible, the pacing was mostly spot-on, the characters were mostly well-developed, and Richardson's voice was smooth and easy. The story itself grabbed me and didn't let go.
Also, the politics of the story, while a bit heavy-handed at times, were a decent match with my own so I didn't spend much of the book cringing like I do when reading certain authors. Your mileage may vary. I did like that neither of the leads, Matt and Sarah, has any military experience nor are they spies. They're ordinary people who got caught up in political machinations and, with help from from friends and peers, held their own and then some. Now, one of the secondary characters, Buzz, is retired military but he's not your typical thriller military man; he's a retired pilot, widowed, with grown kids, who is bored and delighted to help out. He doesn't have an axe to grind. Really, for me, part of the appeal of the story was how ordinary the main cast is; they're people you might live next door to or be in a book club with. That applies to their actions too. It made some of the more incredible parts easier to believe.
Now our villains were more typical and not as well developed though one was nicely quirky. Otherwise they were your standard slimy, no redeeming values baddies. :( The story was, as I mentioned, plausible and also thought-provoking. I'm still not sure how I'd react if this actually happened in real life but some people and institutions would be devastated. There were a few predictable events in the story but it kept me reading and kept me up late to finish it. I enjoyed the people, the story line, and the time jumps. Parts of the story take place in different historical time periods of the US and despite the jumping around, it's smooth and the back and forth works very well. The majority of the story does take place in the present day. The romance between Matt and Sarah is well-done, there's respect on both sides, and a distinct lack of insta-love.
"Imposters of Patriotism" is thrilling, enjoyable, and shows off Richardson's knowledge of history without drowning you in it. Go get a copy.
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In this first quote, Matt and Sarah are talking with her dad, after a date that didn't quite go as planned. :D
"Not a bad first fate, eh Sarah?" Matt said. His trademark grin reappeared for the first time that day.
"Yeah, you really pulled out all the stops," she said, smiling in return.
"I like to start things off with an armed robbery. Then throw in a little conspiracy just to spice things up," he said, sarcastically.
This one just made me smile.
He hadn't felt this way about anyone in a very long time, and he hoped that the feeling was mutual. Even though the depth of his feelings scared him, the thought of how empty his life had been before he had met Sarah scared him even more. He vowed to try his damnedest not to screw this one up.