This is the second historical novel from Eddie Price. I loved Widder’s Landing and was equally surprised by its sequel, One Drop A Slave.
One Drop picks up where Widder’s left off with Craig Ridgeway, his family and in-laws living in Breckinridge Country Kentucky along the Ohio River in 1815. I found this novel to be a fast moving, adventure that kept me hooked from page 1 to the Epilogue on page 739. The author did a superb job of keeping two story lines flowing, one in Kentucky following Craig’s family and the McDonells, the other in New Orleans where the unscrupulous evil banker, Jules Signet schemes to steal the inheritance of Lucinde, who is married to Owen McDonell and living in Kentucky. She is the only daughter and sole heir of his rival, Pierre Delacroix. To take possession of Delacroix’s fortune and also Lucinde and her children, he uses the law, which stipulates that a slave cannot inherit property, and since Lucinde is one sixteenth Negro she herself is a slave as are her two children.
Several of the scoundrels in New Orleans who are working with Signet, redeem themselves and become heroes as does the flawed Kentucky Judge, Wilfred Bozarth. The last chapters about the daring rescue on the Ohio River led by Judge Bozarth, his band of farmers-turned-militia, Craig Ridgeway and the McDonells, were very well crafted.
Price leads you through the story, keeping a perfect balance of details and action, emotion and violence – but not too graphic. And I feel the novel never dragged or got boring as the reader stays tuned in to the numerous subplots weaved throughout. The added touch was the accurate recounting of the “year there was no summer” in 1816 and the historical information about the introduction of steam boat travel along the Ohio and Mississippi. Again another great read.