Coming Summer 2020: The Edge of Hell, a novel of the American Civil War
THE DRIVER'S WIFE
A COMPANION NOVEL TO THE JACK MALLORY TRILOGY
A story of redemption and unconventional love.
Leighlin Plantation offers Edward Ketch a new life, an opportunity to forsake his violent, troubled past and become a man worthy of respect and trust. But when a slave named Isabelle arrives, Ketch is drawn into a turbulent relationship that threatens the very peace he has struggled to attain.
Isabelle has her own desires for a fresh start, but scurrilous gossip about her past undermines those hopes. She struggles to be accepted by Leighlin’s other slaves and hopes marriage to a popular man will aid her cause. But her situation worsens when her husband becomes abusive. She discovers, however, one unlikely ally—Ketch, who is as much an outcast among Leighlin’s white population as she is among her people.
A stranger to love, Ketch cannot recognize the true feelings that draw him to Isabelle. To rescue her from the dangers of her marriage, he risks losing not only his position at Leighlin but the affections of the woman he strives to save.
Set against the backdrop of 17th century Carolina, The Driver’s Wife explores the lives and relationships, from Big House to slave settlement, of those who labored upon the wilderness plantations near Charles Town. Rice cultivation and the task system of slavery provide a much different landscape from the aristocratic Old South of cotton plantations and gang labor familiar to most modern-day readers. The Driver’s Wife is a tale of the transcendent power of love.
"This is a fascinating novel about slavery in the Deep South in the 17th century. The author has previously written a trilogy, The Jack Mallory Chronicles, and this story is a spin-off with Ketch as the protagonist. Ms. Keogh examines the everyday life of slaves enduring the daily grind and provides interesting and troubled main characters with secret pasts... The novel is well-written, with well-formed and credible characters."
----Jeff Westerhoff, Historical Novel Society reviews
A story of relentless pursuit, betrayal, and revenge:
As a young boy Jack Mallory knows horror and desolation when James Logan and his pirates murder his father and abduct his mother. Falsely accused of piracy himself, Jack is thrown into jail. He survives seven years in London’s notorious Newgate prison and emerges a hardened man seeking revenge.
His obsession with finding his mother’s kidnapper drives him to the West Indies where he becomes entangled with a fiery young woman named Maria Cordero. With a score of her own to settle with James Logan, she disguises her gender and blackmails Jack into taking her aboard his pirate brig, Prodigal, in his desperate search for Logan. Their tumultuous relationship simmers while Jack formulates a daring plan to rescue his mother and exact revenge upon Logan for destroying his family. But Logan has no intentions of losing what he now treasures more than life itself…Jack’s mother, Ella.
“Keogh has done an exceptional job in creating a character that has the potential to be an exciting, realistic hero of the 17th century. The story is fast paced, and her knowledge of maritime lingo during the Age of Sail is historically accurate. An excellent read and highly recommended.”
---- Jeff Westerhoff, Historical Novel Society review
“Susan Keogh writes with an edge as sharp as a cutlass, slashing away any whimsical ideas of piracy, with a clear grasp of ships, seamanship and historical detail. By the book’s unexpected finale, there’s but one question to ask: what’s next for Captain Jack Mallory?” -- Quarterdeck, McBooks Press
“With solid plot lines and multi-dimensional characterizations, S K Keogh's first novel is a definite winner. Set mostly afloat in the Caribbean during the 'age of sail' it weaves several threads into an engrossing story that will be satisfying to lovers of historic sail fiction without being unduly technical for a casual reader. The author has created a believable world inhabited by a fascinating, disparate bunch of lead characters who command the reader's sympathy despite their darker sides.”
---- Julian Mackrell, HistoricNavalFiction.com