Authors Showcase: Beneath Hallowed Ground by Steven P. Locklin
January 6, 2015
The Book: Beneath Hallowed Ground
The Author: Steven P. Locklin
The Story: Deceit. Treachery. Treasure.
Lieutenant Jackson Prescott, having just survived the cornfield at Antietam in September of 1862, is tasked by President Lincoln to infiltrate a Confederacy group that has obtained five tons of gold for their side.
In the present, the violent death of an FBI informant thrusts Special Agent Jason Sparks into a desperate search for the very same lost gold shipment — and his failure could mean his daughter’s life.
Two men separated by one hundred and fifty years face murder and betrayal while they fight to complete their missions. Two men, linked by a vast cache of gold… and the same piece of hallowed ground.
BRONZE MEDAL WINNER – 2013 FLORIDA BOOK AWARDS (GENERAL FICTION)
About Steven P. Locklin:
Steven P. Locklin is presently a freelance editor after having worked as a writer and editor for 28 years with six newspapers in five states – West Virginia, Illinois, Tennessee, Vermont and Florida. He spent most of his youth growing up in New England, where his family history dates back ten generations, reading every Alistair MacLean, Robert Ludlum and Clive Cussler novel he could.
For his own adventure novel he chose the Civil War as the backdrop. An avid history researcher, he is particularly fascinated by the war and the family members who fought in the conflict. His first novel, Beneath Hallowed Ground, will be released by Grey Gecko Press on May 1, 2013.
He is presently working on his second novel, a story of redemption for the father of a baseball talent whose career is ended by one ill-fated pitch. A sequel to Beneath Hallowed Ground is also in development.
He lives in South Florida with his wife and two sons, four cats and a dog.
Review by Gabby Hayze:
Locklin has written his book from both the present and the past overlapping two mysteries. The present begins on July 21 with Jason Sparks, a Special Liaison with the Treasury Department responding to a call from local police to help identify a dead body at the scene of the crime. Sparks’ name was found on the murdered man’s body, so it is assumed he will recognize the victim. Thus begins Sparks becoming involved in unearthing a huge gold shipment hidden somewhere by Confederate sympathizers during the Civil War. There is very little information to help Sparks find the gold, and he has to use all his investigative resources, which do not help him all that much.
The second part of the story begins on September 23, 1862, when Jackson Prescott is summoned to meet with President Abraham Lincoln. He is charged with tracking down a large gold shipment. He is to find out when and where it is to be shipped. The gold is to be used to either finance the war effort for the South or to pay people in England to help with the Southern war effort. Prescott is also charged with getting the names of those from the North who are backing the Confederacy. He is given the name of one man who is leading the plan to transfer the gold. He has been chosen for this mission because of his familial connection to the South. His father is a Southern businessman who outwardly supports slavery. Prescott cuts off all connections to his family because of this and chooses to fight on the Union side.
This lays the groundwork for the rest of the book, which moves back and forth from the present to the past in alternate chapters. Both Sparks from the present and Prescott from the past get help from other interesting characters along the way, and, for me, there were some very tense moments at both points in time. For example, the description of the battle at Antietam was difficult to read while at the same time being a compelling description of the realities of war and how it affects those who have to both fight for their own survival and witness sights no one should ever have to see. I think Locklin did a masterful job of portraying just how terrible it is to go through such an experience.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical novels about the Civil War, but I would not restrict my recommendation only to that group. This is also a well-researched mystery which I believe would also appeal to anyone who likes a bit of detective work as well as a most creative format. This book is really two stories told as one. I cannot wait to see what Locklin does next.
Review by Justice:
Beneath Hallowed Ground an historically based book containing, murder, greed, and espionage in a plot that is very well written. The story jumps back and forth between the Civil War Era and modern day, and I had a hard time putting it down and actually found the way the author wrote this story was very effective.
The characters were well developed, and I liked how the characters were made an integral part of the storyline. I very much enjoyed the book and highly recommend it for all Civil War and history fans.