Something in Madness (Dark Horse Trilogy Book 3)


CIVIL WAR ERA: With the bloody war over, Durksen Hurst is returning to his home in Mississippi with only two of the freedmen he'd fought with in a colored Union cavalry regiment, Antoinette, and a young boy. The rag tag group arrives in Turkle to find the devastation wrought by war, along with ugly racism that refuses to die. Durk is intent on regaining land he lost, but his goals are complicated by the status of his friends, and Antoinette's past. Durk is horrified by the implementation of Negro Codes that serve as bondage under another name. While Antoinette leads a group to the state capital to protest the codes, Durk strives to break the hold on the town that prevents all men from living freely, and as a result, risks everything he holds dear.

Ed Protzel paints a descriptive, gripping tale of post-Civil War Reconstruction! “Something in Madness” illuminates the harsh ugliness that accompanied Reconstruction through the Negro Codes, and the constant dehumanization of black men and women. Details of the period illustrate the tremendous research the author put into the story. Durk is a hero who would never see himself as such. He knows his flaws but doesn't recognize his courage. The story is tightly told and as the threads start to pull together, the pace picks up. A sub-plot revolving around Antoinette's half-sister adds psychological suspense to the story. Despite the grim background upon which the story takes place, Mr. Protzel manages to keep the tale from being consumed by the darkness and offers light and hope for the future. Mr. Protzel’s work will linger with readers long after the story ends!

Tricia Hill