Book Review: The Hunt for Confederate Gold by Thomas Moore

Thursday, Apr 27, 2006

I recently read the novel "The Hunt for Confederate Gold" by Thomas Moore. (Published by Fusilier Books, ISBN 0976998203) It may sound cliched, but I couldn't put it down! I am not surprised that it has a perfect five star rating on Amazon.com. Without giving too much away, I can tell you that it is three intertwined storylines wrapped into one. (One of which takes place in the closing days of the Confederate States of America.) This is Moore's first novel. It is a thoroughly captivating, thought-provoking novel. I found it both entertaining and educational. Much like in my novel "Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse", the author weaves a lot of useful factual information into a fictional storyline. Moore includes lots of Civil War history facts as well the historical context of Reconstruction and the whole American experience, recent abuses by Federal government agencies, the fiat paper money fraud, and an analysis of current U.S. policies in the Middle East.

The story and characters are believable. Many of the characters--both heroes and villains--are obviously drawn on some real life individuals but subtly changed to avoid any legal unpleasantness. My only technical nit-pick is that one of the characters refers to "five millions" worth of gold and silver (circa 1865) fitting into two large wooden chests that could be carried by a few men. Even if it were all gold, and assuming that most of it were $20 gold pieces, then $5 million would weigh nearly 18,000 pounds and occupy about 150 cubic feet. Since the hoard was described as a mixture of gold and silver, the weight and bulk would of course be even greater. But that is just a minor quibble. In fairness, perhaps the character was referring to "five millions" worth of inflated Confederate currency...

One refreshingly nice thing to mention about this novel is that that it was obviously written by a true southern gentleman. It includes a minimum of harsh language, profanity, or other offensive content. Unlike the racy novel Unintended Consequences by John Ross (a similar adventure/think piece), I could in good conscience hand this novel to my teenage sons.

As a novelist myself, I can attest that Moore's smooth writing style is difficult to achieve. His gift for writing is a rarity, particularly among "first novelists." In fact, I wish I had some of Mr. Moore's finesse! I highly recommend this novel. It is from a small publisher, so odds are that you won't find a copy at your local book store. Your best bet is finding a copy through Amazon.com.

 


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