The Lucifer Contract

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    • $4.99

Publisher Description

From the acclaimed author of The Dutchman and The House on Mulberry Street comes another darkly thrilling mystery rooted in New York's historic past.

In November 1864, Manhattan mirrors the tumult of the Civil War. Bowery toughs rub shoulders with fashionable theatergoers, crippled veterans beg on the streets, and runaway slaves huddle in Underground Railroad safe houses. Last year's Draft Riots tore the city apart; many fear another uprising on Election Day.

But a far greater threat hangs, unseen, over New York. Eight men from Kentucky—one barely old enough to shave—have signed a Confederate blood pact. Its code name is Lucifer; its mission is to burn this Yankee town to the ground. Already, one of the men, cutting a Union spy's throat, has left a Lucifer matchstick clenched between the unfortunate's teeth.

Infiltrating the city, the conspirators draw into their orbit many an unsuspecting citizen—plus a handful who glimpse something amiss. One of these is Pete Tonneman, who can't resist a glass of whiskey or a good story. When barmaid Meg Clancy reports an overheard conversation, Pete finds himself on the scent of a rumored plot and a string of seemingly random corpses—each dispatched with a slashed throat and marked with a matchstick between the teeth. It is a trail that forks often, and dangerously, for Pete and his informants, such as stagestruck Meg, who mingles with theater folk, including the notorious rake John Wilkes Booth; flamboyant, Madonna-faced prostitute Claudia Albert; and Patrick Duff, the Union veteran who will cross paths again with the Rebel devil who half blinded him in battle. Spurred by General Sherman's burning of Atlanta, the Lucifer plot moves relentlessly toward its target. And joining his Tonneman relatives' police expertise with his own journalist's savvy, Pete must pick apart the tangle of politics and greed, firebrand insanity and cold-blooded butchery, that sweeps the city toward an unimaginable inferno.

Stamped with Maan Meyers's vivid authenticity and novelistic flair, The Lucifer Contract is an unforgettable work of history and intrigue, romance, vengeance, and murder.

Fiction & Literature
March 17
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