Mark Graham The Killing Breed

ISBN 13: 9780380800667

The Killing Breed

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9780380800667: The Killing Breed
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A debut historical mystery is set against a backdrop of post-Civil War Philadelphia and finds veteran Wilton McCleary investigating the cases of a missing child and a valuable dog held for ransom. Original.

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Review:

Welcome to 1874 Philadelphia, where there are more rats than people, and where the sport of kings is ratting--"pitting a dog, usually a fox terrier, against a sack full of hungry rats.... The trick was seeing how long the dog would take to kill all the rats in the pit." A good ratting dog can earn its owner $5,000 in just three matches, which is why a top Republican politician named Bunker looks up city detective Wilton McCleary when Jocko, his favorite ratter, is kidnapped and held for ransom.

In his first novel, Mark Graham (whose great-great-great-grandfather was a Philadelphia policeman) captures the sounds, sights, and mostly the smells of a city that so far hasn't figured largely in the growing genre of historical mystery. He succeeds in giving both the city and his central character a distinctive flavor. McCleary, a Civil War veteran who thought he was immune to cruelty and violence, turns out to be an old softy--especially when a missing child enters the picture. This looks to be the start of a promising series, one that will hopefully move on to other sports than ratting for its inspiration. --Dick Adler

About the Author:

MARK GRAHAM is the great-great-great-grandson of a 19th century Philadelphia policeman. He lives in Pennsylvania.

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Graham, Mark
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ISBN 10: 0380800667 ISBN 13: 9780380800667
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