Bold Sons of Erin is a fascinating fictional read that provides an interesting glimpse into a time period that is rarely used as a book setting, the Civil War. It is a murder mystery, a whodunit, if you will.
The story centers on two seemingly disparate murders that wind up being inextricably entwined to make for a very enjoyable book. Parry manages to use just enough vocal tagging to denote different speech cadences and thereby identify speakers by their race and social position. This is done so adroitly that it puts other writers who belabor the point to shame.
The characters are all convincingly drawn so that the reader cares about the outcome. The scenes use a vital imagery that seems to make it all so real that you can smell the unpleasant smells described. It is easy to picture in your mind's eye what the participants look like by the deft yet brief descriptions that are given. The plot makes sense, which is also a somewhat forgotten (or perhaps never learned) skill of many writers.
Parry skillfully intersperses his conjured scenes with tidbits of actual history to keep the story compelling and believable, which also shows a devotion to the art of research invaluable to any historical piece. There are poignant touches of the Irish who are against the war and those who support it, as well as vivid portrayals of politicians who (like today) come down on whichever side of an argument can benefit them. Throw in a supposedly nuts Russian countess and you’re off on a rollicking ride to an unexpected yet masterful conclusion.
Bold Sons of Erin is a gem of a novel that anyone with a love for history and/or mystery will enjoy.