Review: Ashes of the Earth by Eliot Pattison

Ashes of the Earth by Eliot Pattison
Ashes of the Earth by Eliot Pattison

Ashes of the Earth
Eliot Pattison
Counterpoint, 2011

This review kicks of a trio of post-apocalyptic reviews.  Sometimes I just get a craving for post-apocalyptic fiction.  Unfortunately, and this no slight to two excellent novels, two of said post-apocalyptic novels are zombie novels.  In truth I prefer my apocalypses zombie free but when beggers can’t always be choosers.  Anyway the novel I’m about review isn’t at all zombie related.  Ashes of the Earth by Eliot Pattison is subtitled a Post-Apocalyptic Mystery and it falls squarely into the mystery genre.  Pattison previous authored two historical mysteries set in colonial America, Eye of the Raven and Bone Rattler, and I get the distinct impression that those to earlier novels certainly help inform Ashes of the Earth.

Ashes of the Earth takes place after war has left America (and presumable the rest of the planet) a husk of its former self and focuses on a struggling community called Carthage.  The story follows the embittered and dissident founding father of Carthage, Hadrian Boone, as he attempts to solve the murder of his mentor.  Nuclear and biological weapons employed in the past have left even later generations suffering and Carthage long ago exiled these unwanted to shantytown long ago and is amongst these exiles, and even further, that Hadrian’s journey takes him.

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