Jack Absolute by C.C. Humphreys was not a targeted purchase. I bought it on sale when Books-A-Million was still alive here. The cover art appealed to me. It may be difficult to see on the picture but the cover is a three-fold piece of art.
The bottom is a map that portrays part of the New England states. If you look closely under the title word “Jack” you can read “Saratoga.” Above that is a battle scene. See the guy in the red vest on the right? Look at his eyes. Sheer determination. Behind him, a soldier who is wounded grabs his head. And above the battle scene, a portrait of a military man in full uniform looking into a mirror. We do not see the full face but judging from the skin especially around the neck we can determine it is a young man. Not so young as a teenager but early to mid thirties.
The cover sums up the book and I realized it only after I was done reading. The map (another one is in the book) details the travels from Jack Absolute. The book opens with a dual between the main character and a man who will keep popping back up in the story. We learn that Jack Absolute is both a character in a play and a real officer. Jack Absolute used to be a Captain of the 16th Light Dragoons in the King’s army. He left years ago but is pulled back in rank as the result of a cunning plan.
His friend and Mohawk blood brother Atedawenete will rescue him more than once. And indeed, we will find Jack in danger often. If it isn’t a rattle snake, an army, a tribe, or criminals and spies who try to butcher him than it is his own blindness or weaknesses that constantly turn his life around.
The book combines the British in the American Revolution, the Illuminati, spies, codes and masks, with oats and cow blood, plantain or mahtawehaseh, and double agents with a chill-to-the-bone description of a public hanging.
My only regret is that I would have loved to read more about the Illuminati but I guess I have to read the sequels for that.
If you like Historical Fiction that highlights the American Revolution told from various points of view, absolutely read this book.