Title: Cold Glory
Author: B. Kent Anderson
Release Date: October 11, 2011
Publisher: Forge Books
Genre: Historical Thriller
Rating: 4 out of 5
When a cache of Civil War-era weapons is found near Fort Washita in Oklahoma, history professor Nick Journey takes charge of the investigation into the discovery. What Journey doesn’t realize is that hidden along with the weapons is a document that a fringe organization called the Glory Warriors has been searching for since the end of the Civil War. This puts Nick’s life in danger as he races to uncover the mystery behind the document and stop the Glory Warriors from shaking the very foundation of this country.
I first heard about Cold Glory at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show for 2011, where the author was on a panel discussing his novel. Anderson said the idea for the novel came to him when he discovered that Grant and Lee had been alone for a short time in the Appomattox Court House before Lee officially surrendered the Confederate army. What might they have discussed? And with that, Anderson had me completely hooked.
Cold Glory is a historical thriller, and it really is that genre at its best. Anderson takes this piece of history and created a gripping story surrounding it, complete with a fascinating mythology. Anderson delves into the history of the Civil War, and the reader learns something while being simultaneously entertained.
However, it was the main character that really made this book for me and that set it apart from the many other historical thrillers. Nick Journey is a middle-aged professor. He’s overweight and has some minor health issues. In other words, he is a real person with regular issues; he doesn’t have the “toned physique” of Robert Langdon. I absolutely loved how realistic Nick was, and how Anderson didn’t feel like he needed to make an unbelievable and handsome hero in order to attract readers. And what’s more, Nick is a single father. His son is severely autistic, and Nick has basically devoted his life to caring for his son. It’s an absolutely beautiful, touching relationship, and it really elevates the novel to an entirely different level.
The book moves at a thrilling pace, and readers will appreciate that the enemies in Cold Glory are multidimensional. Though they are definitely the “bad guys”, they aren’t pure (silly) evil, but more misguided in their quest to make the country a better place. While I’m a big fan of historical thrillers, they have a tendency to just become more of the same, so I felt like this book was a breath of fresh air and really revitalized my interest in the genre.
Cold Glory is definitely a novel worth reading if you’re a historical thriller fan. Even if you aren’t, the wonderful relationship between Nick and his son should make you consider picking it up. With all historical thrillers, the premise requires you to just go with it, rather than doubting and asking questions, but if you’re willing to do that, this is a great, fast-paced choice for some real entertainment.