Rare-book expert Peter Fallon and his girlfriend, Evangeline, the main characters from Back Bay and Harvard Yard, are back for another treasure hunt through time. They have learned of an early, annotated draft of the Constitution, stolen and smuggled out of Philadelphia. The draft's marginal notes spell out, in shocking detail, the Founders' unequivocal intentions---the unmistakable meaning of the Bill of Rights. Peddled and purloined, trafficked and concealed for over two centuries, the lost Constitution could forever change America's history---and its future. Moreover, Congress is already at war, fighting tooth and claw over the eternally contentious Bill of Rights. When word gets out of the lost draft's existence, it launches a frenzied search, as both sides of the partisan machine believe it will reinforce their arguments. While battling politicians from both sides of the debate, Peter and Evangeline must get to the document first, because they know that if the wrong people find it, they will burn it, stripping the nation of its constitutional moorings. The search takes Peter and Evangeline into the rich history of America and New England, from Shay's Rebellion to the birth of the American industrial revolution to the march of the legendary 20th Maine in the Civil War. Past and present play off one another as the search for the draft heats up. It finally boils over on the first night of the World Series, at that Mecca of New England, Boston's fabled Fenway Park, and the truth is finally revealed.... At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
A rare, annotated draft of the U.S. Constitution is at the heart of Martin's entertaining third novel to feature antiquarian book dealer Peter Fallon. As in Harvard Yard (2003), Martin tells two stories. The first chronicles the loss and recovery of the document at the time of the constitutional convention, where young Will Pike attends Massachusetts delegate Rufus King, and its passing through generations of the Pike family to the present. The second traces Fallon's search against deadly competition to find the draft. Throughout, Martin makes clear that people have always tried to use the Constitution for their own purposes, including right-wing Christian fanatics, survivalist gun nuts, liberal gun-banners and greedy entrepreneurs now seeking the lost draft. The Pike family motto: "In America, we get up in the morning, we go to work, and we solve our problems" serves as a unifying theme, and Martin also makes clear that the Constitution--drafts and all--was intended as a unifying agent. This is a good mystery, a better examination of constitutional issues and a superb paean to New England, its people, natural beauty and resources. Author tour. (May)
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May 15, 2007
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