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A Hostage to Heritage: A Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thiller Paperback – 15 Apr 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Suzanne Adair (15 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988912945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988912946
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Award-winning novelist Suzanne Adair is a Florida native who lives in a two hundred-year-old city at the edge of the North Carolina Piedmont, named for an English explorer who was beheaded. Her suspense and thrillers transport readers to the Southern theater of the Revolutionary War, where she brings historic towns, battles, and people to life. She fuels her creativity with Revolutionary War reenacting and visits to historic sites. When she's not writing, she enjoys cooking, dancing, and spending time with her family.

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Format: Paperback
In the second book of Suzanne Adair's Michael Stoddard American Revolution mystery thriller series, the reader finds themselves in the year 1781. When a group of bandits kidnap a noblewoman's son, Michael Stoddard is once again assigned to investigate. Numerous twists and turns link Stoddard with the mother in an incredible, unpredictable way.

Once again, Suzanne Adair has written a wonderful whodunit with plenty of intrigue, interest, and thrills. Wonderfully complex characters and a fascinating story line are coupled with terrific writing. And all this makes this a great book to sink your teeth in. Although this is the second book in the series, it stands alone and does not have to be read after the first book. Michael Stoddard is a charismatic protaganist, highly likeable, cursed with a touch of bad luck that always makes the story more interesting.

Suzanne Adiar knows how to write a great whodunit in a challenging historical period as its setting. There's always lots going on in Suzanne's novels. The story never lags and keeps a reader's interest until the end. With every new release, her books get better and better. Bravo Suzanne! Another great one to add to your list of books. Very enjoyable!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A Hostage to Heritage is another of Suzanne's books set in the American War of Independence. Rather than following a campaign, this one is geographically more localised in the Wilmington area. Here, the main character is a soldier responsible for solving a particular crime, who needs to bridge some of the gaps between the British occupying force and the civilian population. The various groups and factions, and their relationships, are drawn sympathetically.

One of the key themes here - as suggested by the title - is that individuals' past experiences and actions continually trail into the present. Meetings with old friends and enemies, and recapitulation of old patterns of behaviour, shape much of the plot. The question that both characters and reader have to face, is whether past events need to be set aside, confronted, or integrated into current choices.

The book is standalone, but some familiarity with the characters from earlier books will help to follow the changing dynamics between them. An enjoyable read, and one where you have to keep your wits about you as the story twists and turns.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 27 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
it only gets better! 25 April 2013
By ѦѺ - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
"All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost..." - J.R.R. Tolkien

Major James Henry Craig, commander of the Eighty-Second Regiment, is off on a mission and leaves the care of Wilmington, North Carolina to his lead criminal investigator Lieutenant Michael Stoddard. together with his assistant Nick Spry, Michael needs to put a stop to two miscreants terrorizing the town and find a missing English heir before Major Craig returns and especially before Lord Cornwallis and his army of redcoats arrive.
based on historical facts, Suzanne Adair's second novel in her Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thrillers Series only gets better. it is fast-paced, well researched and an engrossing read.
as always, the writing is excellent, the characters are well-developed and the author's attention to detail is remarkable. she was able to capture the colors, sounds and smells of Spring and the life of the denizens in the frontier town of Wilmington. all of these burst into life, escape from the pages and grab the reader's attention from the first page to the last.
one of the things that made this novel extraordinary for me was how the author delved deeper into the heart and soul of her protagonist Michael Stoddard. surprises and more are revealed about him as the story progressed. as layer after layer is peeled away, we are offered a glimpse of the man under the uniform. the more we get to know him, the more he becomes real and endearing.
another thing i liked was how the author made a bold risk in the story with regard to descriptions of intimacy between some characters. it was a daring move that was not present or detailed in two of her books i read previously. however, it did not come out vulgar or offensive in any way.
readers who are familiar with her other novels will also welcome the appearances and or mention of a few characters like Adam Neville, Mathias Hale, David St. James and Claude Devereaux. moreover, this novel would not be complete without the presence and menace of Lieutenant Dunstan Fairfax, Michael's arch nemesis.
the more i get to read Ms. Adair's novels, the more i become convinced that she truly deserves to be called "the Mistress of American Revolution historical fiction!"
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Five Huzzahs for Suzanne Adair's latest mystery! 20 April 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
A kidnapping forces his past into his present. Will it also impact his future?

Lt. Michael Stoddard of Yorkshire now serves His Majesty in the Army and is stationed in the Carolinas while Tarleton and Cornwallis try to curtail the rebels and maintain the Colonies for George III. Stoddard is a man of integrity who finds that all things in war are not black and white and wearing a red coat does not ensure its owner is morally upright. He also discovers that some rebels have a higher moral compass than the King's men.

We first meet Stoddard in PAPER WOMAN, another excellent tale by Suzanne Adair. He has since become the star of his own series--REGULATED FOR MURDER and A HOSTAGE TO HERITAGE. While each of Suzanne's books can be read as stand-alones, they also build on one another in a seamless fashion and reading them in order increases the enjoyment of an overall underlying story arc.

REGULATED FOR MURDER gives us a ten-year old cold case tied to a present-day murder. A HOSTAGE TO HERITAGE gives us a kidnapping--but not just a normal kidnapping. HOSTAGE also gives us a series of jolts regarding Lt. Michael Stoddard. Those jolts give him hard choices regarding his own soul. I try not to post anything that can be considered a spoiler, so I'll just say that HOSTAGE kept me up late two nights in a row because I just couldn't stop reading ;-)

If you have read the St. James' series by Suzanne, you will enjoy how characters make cameos throughout the Stoddard books. Her female characters are believable and appropriate for the times--they are not 21st century women wearing homespun. And although the setting is the Revolutionary War, blood and gore and battle scenes are not the means for ratcheting the tension in either story. And believe me, the tension is there. Even the descriptive passages don't take away from the plot movement. Some folks may think the cast of characters is somewhat large and hard to follow but each character definitely plays an important role in either Stoddard's past, present or future.

So we have murder, war, espionage, kidnapping, tax evasion, and bootlegging all competing with military and civilian politics. The wondrous part of it all is that even though all those things are present in America today, both REGULATED and HOSTAGE are true to the 1780s in manner of speech, mode of dress, and behavior of the characters. Even the male/female tensions are believable (no bodice-ripper extraneous romance here).

The history is fascinating but woven in so carefully that I didn't realize I was learning about the southern theater of the American Revolution. You smell the cabbages and manure, you hear the thud of a trussed up body slam against a wooden wall, and you race along with your heart in your throat as men who should be comrades decide whether or not to kill each other.

Lastly, the amateur historian in me absolutely loves the bibliography/list of sources we get with each of the books. I can turn from fiction right to my library or online book sources to read more about Yorkshire, Hillsborough, Wilmington, Tarleton, Cornwallis, et al.

Whether male or female, if you enjoy multilayer plots set in well-researched history, you can't go wrong reading anything by Suzanne Adair.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Michael Stoddard Returns 19 April 2013
By R. BULL - Published on
Format: Paperback
Lt. Michael Stoddard of his majesty's eighty-second regiment first appears in the book riding his horse, Cleopatra, in pursuit of two rebels. He fails to catch them resulting in one of the many frustrating tasks Stoddard is ordered to complete. A ten-year-old boy from a noble family is abducted. Stoddard knows that if he cannot recover the child, safe and sound, he has no friends among the gentry and no financial resources to cushion the blow that failure will inevitably cause. His investigations are complicated by the fact that in North Carolina the war for American independence is not going well for the British. Individual alliances are unclear. The war is used as an excuse by both loyalists and rebels to settle old scores.
Stoddard has to suss out who is lying and who is telling at least part of the truth. Enemies from his past appear and disappear. Motives become entangled with emotions, personal, family and even national histories. Even those closest to Stoddard have secrets that have to be unraveled before he can save the child and thereby save himself.

This is another excellent book set against the background of the southern conflicts of the American Revolution by Suzanne Adair.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
An exciting story set during the Revolutionary War 16 April 2013
By F. Yoder - Published on
Format: Paperback
A Hostage To Heritage is the second book in the Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thriller series. This is a wonderful historical mystery that is more mystery than historical, but still, it gives the reader a chance to experience the solving of a mystery without the use of a cell phone, DNA and all the other items of technology we have today. Reading about this period of time always makes me appreciate our life today. I remember reading about the Battle of Yorktown back in the dark ages, but wasn't aware that there may have been more battles fought in South Carolina, than the other colonies. I feel that it is a plus when I can learn something from my reading.

This book can be read as a "stand alone", but I would suggest also reading Regulated For Murder to learn a little more about Stoddard and his assistant, Spry. Stoddard also has appeared, in a minor role in Adair's other books. Mrs. Chiswell , who has a minor roll in this book, was the main character in Camp Follower. If you love historical mysteries, like myself, you might want to check out Adair's other books, too.

Michael Stoddard, having some just returned from chasing some rebels who have been terrorizing the city of Wilmington, NC., has been ordered to see his commander immediately. Major Craig informs Stoddard that he has an important mission to handle and expects Stoddard to remain in Wilmington and to capture the rebels he had been chasing earlier. Soon, they are pursuing Love and Jones, but once again lose them and upon returning to garrison they are summoned to Dr. Clayton's infirmary.. Three dead bodies have been brought in to the infirmary, a man and two young boys. They had been shot and killed as they, and a gang of young boys, attacked the traveling party of Lady Faisleigh. Stoddard and Spry immediately call on Lady Faisleigh to learn more of the incident once there Stoddard realizes that she is someone out of his past and hope she doesn't recognize him. He soon learns that Lady Faisleigh son was kidnapped during the attack. After talking with the boys tutor, Mr. De Manning and with the Lady's maids and with Lady Faisleigh herself, it's unclear the reason for the kidnapping as there has been no ransom demanded for Lord Wynndon.

As the investigation continues, Stoddard and Spry have more questions than answers. Putting the past aside with tavern owner, Kate Duncan, Stoddard is able to gain valuable information and an understanding of some local maps that will help him narrow the search for missing Lord Wynndon.

This was a very enjoyable book for me. The author provides the reader with many twists and turns, that kept me guessing to end. A well told story that will give all a better understanding of life in the late 1700's.

Adair also provides the reader with a cast of characters and an extensive bibliography.

Looking forward to the next book in the series to see challenges are handed to Michael Stoddard and his assistant, Spry.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Stoddard Strikes Again! 4 May 2013
By TSmith - Published on
Format: Paperback
In Suzanne Adair's second Michael Stoddard novel, Stoddard discovers shocking new facts about his past life, as well as that of his assistant, Nick Spry, while in the midst of a child abduction investigation. Along the way, he also finds that he didn't know some people as well as he thought he did. In order to evade the dastardly Dunstan Fairfax's influence at the end of the book, he must eventually make some hard decisions that will affect both his personal and professional lives. Groundwork is laid in this book for a sequel that I am eager to read.

A few characters from previous books reprise their roles, while a new character from Michael's past changes his life in a way he could have never imagined.

This is a complex and fast-paced thriller with twists and turns that will keep the reader engaged until the last page. Readers who enjoy Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe novels and Jim Butcher's Dresden novels are likely to enjoy Suzanne Adair's Michael Stoddard novels as well.

And, as with her previous four novels, history buffs will also enjoy reading an accurate representation of lesser known and emphasized events of the American Revolution.

Highly recommended.
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