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Crimson Angel
Cover of Crimson Angel
Crimson Angel
Benjamin January Series, Book 13
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Benjamin January is forced to travel to Haiti to seek his family's lost treasure, in order to save everything he holds dear
When Jefferson Vitrack – the white half-brother of Benjamin January's wife - turns up on January's doorstep in the summer of 1838 claiming he has discovered a clue to the whereabouts of the family's lost treasure, January has no hesitation about refusing to help look for it. For the treasure lies in Haiti, the island that was once France's most profitable colony – until the blood-chilling repression practiced there by the whites upon their slaves triggered a savage rebellion. The world's only Black Republic still looks with murderous mistrust upon any strangers who might set foot there, and January is in no hurry to go.
But when Vitrack is murdered, and attempts are made on January's wife and himself, he understands that he has no choice. He must seek the treasure himself, to draw the unknown killers into the open, a bloody trail that leads first to Cuba, then to Haiti, and finally to the secret that lies buried with the accursed gold.
Benjamin January is forced to travel to Haiti to seek his family's lost treasure, in order to save everything he holds dear
When Jefferson Vitrack – the white half-brother of Benjamin January's wife - turns up on January's doorstep in the summer of 1838 claiming he has discovered a clue to the whereabouts of the family's lost treasure, January has no hesitation about refusing to help look for it. For the treasure lies in Haiti, the island that was once France's most profitable colony – until the blood-chilling repression practiced there by the whites upon their slaves triggered a savage rebellion. The world's only Black Republic still looks with murderous mistrust upon any strangers who might set foot there, and January is in no hurry to go.
But when Vitrack is murdered, and attempts are made on January's wife and himself, he understands that he has no choice. He must seek the treasure himself, to draw the unknown killers into the open, a bloody trail that leads first to Cuba, then to Haiti, and finally to the secret that lies buried with the accursed gold.
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 13, 2014
    Set in the summer of 1838, Hambly’s scalding 13th Benjamin January novel (after 2013’s Good Man Friday) takes the freed slave and Paris-trained surgeon to Cuba and Haiti, along with his beloved wife, Rose, and his white fiddler friend, Hannibal Sefton. The trip is prompted by Rose’s white half-brother, Jefferson Vitrack, who appears at their New Orleans home with a mysterious tale of buried family treasure. At first, January refuses to consider pursuing the treasure, which could fund the return of thousands of slaves to Africa. But after Vitrack is murdered and Rose is attacked, January realizes that he must unravel the secret behind his brother-in-law’s story. Members of January’s extended family were employed by the Caribbean sugar industry, which worked thousands of malnourished black slaves to death in an average of three years each. Hambly reveals the horrors of this grim chapter of history through understated glimpses into the mind of her hero, whose silent comment on the ferocious slave uprising that established Haiti as a black republic in 1804 sums up his attitude toward the white oppressors: “They had it coming.” Agent: Frances Collin, Frances Collin Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    November 1, 2014
    A former slave must return to Haiti to uncover a dark secret. Paris-trained physician Benjamin January is now a free man of color working as a musician in 1838 New Orleans to support his wife and young son. The arrival of wife Rose's white half brother, Jeoff Vitrac, should be a joyous occasion, but the visit brings nothing but trouble. Descendants of an aristocratic French family, the de Gericaults, Rose, Jeoff, and Aramis have heard tales of a family treasure hidden at the former family estate in Haiti. Jeoff asks Ben to help find the treasure, but Ben refuses, knowing he'd probably face a death sentence if he returned to the Black Republic of Haiti, where the slaves rose up against their oppressors, killing almost all the white plantation owners before turning to fight among themselves for control. Soon after unknown people start watching their house, Jeoff is murdered and Rose stabbed in the street. They leave the baby with Ben's sister and flee to Aramis' Grand Isle plantation, where the attacks continue. As much as he abhors the idea, Ben realizes that they'll never escape persecution until they find out whether the treasure still exists. Ben's friend the white musician Hannibal helps them by pretending Rose is his mistress and Ben his valet as they embark on a trip to Cuba in search of more clues. When Rose is kidnapped, Hannibal and Ben have no choice but to follow her to Haiti, a place where death waits around every corner. Hambly's long-running series (Good Man Friday, 2014, etc.) pulls no punches in describing the brutality of the period, when slaves and women, both possessions under the law, had little recourse for ill-treatment. The mystery is the least of this adventurous tale.

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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    Severn House Publishers
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Crimson Angel
Crimson Angel
Benjamin January Series, Book 13
Barbara Hambly
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