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THE EDGE OF HELL
A NOVEL OF THE CIVIL WAR
Thirteen thousand Union soldiers will lose their lives at Andersonville prison. James Keenan is determined Nate Calhoun will not be one of them.
James and Nate have nothing more in common than their rural hometown. In Burr Oak, class distinction and petty jealousies pit the two young men against each other. Their combative relationship carries over into the ranks of the Eleventh Michigan Infantry, where Nate struggles to live up to the reputation left behind by his brother, and James contends with an abusive sergeant, Robert Langdon. Once a preacher in Burr Oak, Langdon seeks retribution for James’s part in his fall from grace.
The bloody battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga wipe away past differences and forge a deep bond between James and Nate. As Sherman’s armies march inexorably toward Atlanta, Nate’s capture puts that bond to the test. Determined to rescue his friend from notorious Andersonville prison, James risks desertion to embark on a dangerous journey through the wilderness of war-torn Georgia, pursued by Langdon, bent on revenge.
The Edge of Hell tells the story of the rank and file from small-town America—farmers and shop-owners who made up the nucleus of the Federal army and, through extraordinary valor, preserved the Union.
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