The Last Confederate Battle by John J. Cline
(Summary taken from the back of the book.) "The Last Confederate Battle is a fictional take of how the Civil War affected the lives of three brothers who were raised and who fought for the South in an unconventional war. Meanwhile, President Lincoln, vexed by war-profiteering and mysterious murders turns to Allan Pinkerton and New York City Chief of Detectives, Frank Stone for answers. Reconstruction brings the main characters together in search of peace and justice."
I am an American history fan so I was really excited to read this book. I liked the storyline and the plot of the book, and I liked the characters. The character development was good and some of the characters I felt like I had known for a long time. I liked Frank and Kaitlin and Andy and Veronica. I liked the brothers as well as Jubal and the Pinkertons. It was confusing at first because there are a lot of characters and they all started out in different places. I didn't know how it would all come together, but it did actually end up coming together in the end. I'm not always a fan of historical fiction, but I did like it.
What I didn't like was the violence and gore in this book. It is a war-time book. It was very hard to read at some points. Some of the things individuals in the book end up doing are awful. Horrible. Why Mr. Cline needed to include these gory details is beyond me. When a character is being shot at point blank, I understand the need to use everyday items as weapons, but going into such detail about what he did to defend himself is unnecessary (a pencil is used in this particular case and it is extremely yucky and awful). Andy and Mr. Hill, in particular, do some reprehensible things. This book is not for the faint of heart. I would not have finished it if I hadn't been doing a review, for that reason. There is also a lot of language in the book. There are violent deaths and things done to women that made me sick.
I ended up liking the story and the characters, but it was not something I would want to read again. I don't watch war movies because it is too much for me, and the same thing goes with books. I don't like the gory details. If things like that don't bother you then you may really like the book.
Rating: R (Remember, this doesn't necessarily follow the movie ratings) Violence, gore, death, war- time fights and war scenes, language, rapes
Recommendation: 18 and up. At least. It is sad because the characters grow on you, and the overall storyline is clever and comes together well. It is just really hard to read. I wish Mr. Cline had left a lot of those gory moments out of the book and I would have liked it a lot more.
(Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in return for this review. That does not sway my opinion either way. I am always honest in my reviews.)