Jim Lehrer No Certain Rest: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780375503726

No Certain Rest: A Novel

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9780375503726: No Certain Rest: A Novel
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On a ridge overlooking Burnside Bridge—the focus of the Battle of Antietam—souvenir hunters find the unmarked grave of an unknown Union officer.

Don Spaniel, an archeologist in the National Park Service, is called in to examine the remains. He soon discovers that the officer was murdered and that his identification disk could not possibly belong to him, since its rightful owner is buried elsewhere. So who was this officer? Where did he come from? And why was he killed?

Spaniel’s obsessive investigation leads not only to his reliving the horrible carnage that occurred at Burnside Bridge over a century before, but to the true identity of the Union officer and the reason why another body resides in his grave in a small New England town.

In a swift narrative deftly combining the past with the present, Jim Lehrer has created an engrossing story that will appeal to a wide variety of readers.

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Review:

Those who share television newsman James Lehrer's passion for the Civil War will be thrilled to encounter this graceful, deftly written novel about a U.S. Parks Department archaeologist investigating the mystery of a murdered Union officer whose remains are discovered in an unmarked grave near Antietam, the scene of one of the bloodiest battles in history. Don Spaniel's curiosity about the circumstances of the soldier's death is ratcheted up several degrees when it turns out that the ID disk found in the grave belongs to another solider from a different regiment, whose body is buried elsewhere. And when a woman from the historical society of a small town in the Midwest gives Spaniel a document that refers to the murder, along with a warning that some stories are better left untold, he swings into high gear to solve a century-old mystery. The pace of this novel is so slow it may put some readers to sleep, and the protagonist is more of a talking history book than a flesh-and-blood character, but real Civil War buffs probably won't mind at all. --Jane Adams

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Advance praise for No Certain Rest

“From opening salvo to final shot, No Certain Rest reads like Antietam: blood-soaked, fast-charging, filled with twists, and as hauntingly irresistible to a Civil War buff as the battle itself.”
—Tony Horwitz, author of Confederates in the Attic

Praise for The Special Prisoner

“Lehrer has captured the reality of what it was like. His book is honest, factual, and a tribute to the men who endured and prevailed over the worst existence imaginable.”
—Stephen E. Ambrose

“Riveting . . . I couldn’t put this book down! The Special Prisoner delves into the full complexity of human evil and revenge.”
—Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking

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