Trust None. Risk all.
Richmond, Virginia, 1863. Compelled to atone for the sins of her slaveholding father, Union loyalist Sophie Kent risks everything to help end the war from within the Confederate capital and abolish slavery forever. But she can’t do it alone.
Former slave Bella Jamison sacrifices her freedom to come to Richmond, where her Union soldier husband is imprisoned, and her twin sister still lives in bondage in Sophie’s home. Though it may cost them their lives, they work with Sophie to betray Rebel authorities. Harrison Caldwell, a Northern freelance journalist who escorts Bella to Richmond, infiltrates the War Department as a clerk-but is conscripted to defend the city’s fortifications.
As Sophie’s spy network grows, she walks a tightrope of deception, using her father’s position as newspaper editor and a suitor’s position in the ordnance bureau for the advantage of the Union. One misstep could land her in prison, or worse. Suspicion hounds her until she barely even trusts herself. When her espionage endangers the people she loves, she makes a life-and-death gamble.
Will she follow her convictions even though it costs her everything-and everyone-she holds dear?
Sophie Kent and her mother maintain a stop on the Underground Railroad in the middle of the city of Richmond, helping escaped slaves and others on their furtive flights north. After her mother dies, Sophie feels compelled to do more to help the Union cause. Tending to Union prisoners in the notorious Libby prison probably isn’t the wisest idea, and it brings her plenty of attention. She gains a Confederate officer as a suitor, and also receives an invitation to meet with Elizabeth Van Lew, widely known as “Crazy Bett” and also an abolitionist. Van Lew wants Sophie to join her spy ring.
In Spy of Richmond, Green has deftly mixed fact and fiction to create a compelling tale of life for Union supporters and prisoners in the Confederate capital. One character gets involved with the prison breakout of February 1864 and works alongside Colonel Thomas Rose who led the escape. Van Lew ran an extensive network and was even successful in placing a spy into the household of the Confederate White House.
This is the fourth and final book in the Heroines Behind the Lines series, of which I’ve read two (and have another in my collection to read). There are references to events in previous books, and characters from those books also appear. I found, however, that it wasn’t necessary to have read them. Green has written Spy of Richmond in such a way that I never felt I was missing something. For those who have read the other books, the epilogue is set over 20 years after the war’s end and updates the lives of the main characters in the series.
Thank you to Moody Publishers for my complimentary electronic review copy of Spy of Richmond, which I downloaded from NetGalley. I was not required to write a review.
Have you read Spy of Richmond? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: River North (an imprint of Moody Publishers)
Publication Date: 01 March 2015
Page Count: 432