April 2016 by Simon & Schuster
After reading The Kitchen House, millions of readers were wanting to hear more about the mixed-race escaped slave who had been raised white until his father sold him off.
Now they have another gripping story from Grissom. In this one, James Pyke has built a life for himself as a white man. Working as a jeweler, he has carved out a place among the aristocracy of Philadelphia.
He has also taken in the son of the man who helped him when he first arrived in the city. The other man is also an escaped slave, and both men constantly fear that the slave hunters will track them down, reveal their secrets, and return them to the South.
When the boy Pan is kidnapped by slave traders and taken south to be sold, James is the only person who can hope to find him and eventually return his freedom. What follows is two tales interwoven, and each tale offers its own rewards. When the two stories again merge, readers are swept along to a thundering climax that only Grissom could provide.
The only flaw with this work is found in the opening segment. The work is paced quite slowly here as readers are introduced to everything James has to lose. However, by the opening of the third chapter, readers are well entrenched in two lives. Readers who continue on will be richly rewarded with a novel that is compelling and strongly paced to the end.
Readers who are interested in other stories of lives stolen away and snatched back after great effort should consider The Family Made of Dust, which deals with the aftermath of Australia’s twentieth-century genocidal policies against Aboriginal tribes. Readers who are interested in other groups that have built America and continue to make it strong will be interested in the contemporary story of a Native American man who must save his sister and his lover from a peyote cult in Reparation.