Saturday, February 3, 2018

Book Review: 'Abolition of Evil' by Ted Richardson

Georgia author Ted Richardson has a penchant for remolding history into mystery – not a difficult thought process but one that few authors can successfully manage. Ted has moved form a world of business to a new career in writing. His first very successful book IMPOSTERS OF PATRIOTISM is now followed by his new release – ABOLITION OF EVIL. With his gift for committing his fine research into American history as a core to create a mystery, it appears that Ted has carved his own niche in contemporary literature - and an exciting one at that.
A bit of reminding background - One pair of American heroes whose value is immense is the team of Lewis and Clark. The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition to cross what is now the western portion of the United States. It began near St. Louis, made its way westward, and passed through the continental divide to reach the Pacific coast. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the expedition shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It comprised a selected group of U.S. Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend, Second Lieutenant William Clark. Their perilous journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806. The primary objective was to explore and to map the newly acquired territory, to find a practical route across the western half of the continent, and to establish an American presence in this territory before Britain and other European powers tried to claim it.

Ted opens his story with a Prologue form 1973 on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Montana in which we learn of a strange discovery – ‘The crown of the helmet was tall and oval-shaped. The sides swept down and then turned up at the ends, almost like the top half of a duck’s bill. It had a number of dings and dents, but considering its age, it seemed to be pretty intact….The stranger told Tommy he had seen the boy’s picture in the newspaper and was interested in purchasing the old helmet he had found. Tommy could tell by the man’s accent he was from somewhere else.... The man made an offer but Tommy smelled a bigger payday. He thought he could squeeze more out of the rich-looking guy, so he looked him square in the eye and asked for double…the man reached into his pocket and pulled out a wad of bills. The exchange was made quickly….That was the last he ever saw of the man or the funny-looking helmet again.’

A taste that leads us to present day Savannah, Georgia, and the summary Ted provides opens the door: ‘They are the richest family in America that nobody has ever heard of, with a net worth of over $100 billion. Their privately held company has secretly been shaping public opinion and influencing elections for decades—and eliminating politicians who stand in their way. They are finally on the verge of achieving their lifelong goal: a covert takeover of the United States government. But the potential revelation of a centuries-old family secret threatens to sabotage their subversive plans. Meanwhile, Matt Hawkins discovers lost field notes written by Meriwether Lewis during the historic Lewis and Clark Expedition. In them, Lewis claims a seemingly impossible discovery. Hawkins follows a trail of clues—from the Spanish conquistadors to a legendary tribe of invincible black Indians to the hallowed halls of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. His pursuit of the truth leads him out of the past and headlong into the center of a modern-day political conspiracy—whose outcome just might determine the fate of America’s democracy.’

Tying together mysterious clues with bits of history is a polished asset of Ted Richardson. He is becoming an important author. Grady Harp, August 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.