Tuesday, December 20, 2011
A Perfect 10:
A Perfect 10
England and Ireland - 1760
Scotsman Jamie Fraser has been a parolee at the Helwater estate in England since being released from prison after the Jacobite Rising. He's having dreams of his wife, Claire, and hopes she is safe in the future with their child (re: DRAGONFLY IN AMBER). But his main reason for wanting to remain at Helwater is that his young son is growing up there, the son he cannot claim since he was born to the daughter of the farm's owner after she seduced Jamie nearly three years ago. Then there is the arrival of an old friend, Tobias Quinn, who was active in the Rising. Quinn wants to get Jamie to help him find a cup that will bring the Irish together to overthrow the English. Jamie flatly refuses, not wanting to have anything to do with any more wars or death. But other people are going to get Jamie involved in much more than he can imagine.
Lord John Grey has a history with Jamie Fraser—a history that involves the prison, getting him paroled to Helwater, but also there is the small fact that Grey is very attracted to Jamie. And that is something that infuriates the Scot. So when Grey is forced by his older brother, the Duke of Pardloe, to pair up with Fraser to investigate a fellow army officer for corruption, he must turn to Jamie to explain the papers that were found implicating the officer. Jamie is far from happy being torn from the farm and his son, but especially to be teamed with Lord John to investigate something that may be more explosive than initially thought.
The trip to Ireland is anything but pleasant, with Jamie horrendously seasick, and when Tobias Quinn shows up on the scene, things get a lot more complicated. He is determined to recruit Jamie to the Cause, and would dearly love to do away with Lord John. Caught in the middle, Jamie has to use his cunning, logic, and, of course, honor to keep everything in perspective.
It's one adventure after another in this excellent novel that bridges the gap between the battle of Culloden in DRAGONFLY IN AMBER—when Claire leaves Jamie for safety in her time—to the next book (VOYAGER). THE SCOTTISH PRISONER combines a bit of the Lord John stories where he is involved in several investigations, and the original Outlander books. Jamie's past comes back to haunt him, and his dogged determination not to be dragged into another Rising is crucial to the outcome of their journey. Lord John's assignment to bring back a fellow officer for a court martial weighs heavy on him since this very man is the one who saved his life in Canada .
Once you get into this story, it's so difficult to put the book down. Written in Ms. Gabaldon's usual style, readers will enjoy the fact we get to see Jamie in a different light, one without Claire, but with her always in his heart and mind. I like Lord John; he's an enigma in many ways, but is as brave and honorable as his Scottish counterpart.
THE SCOTTISH PRISONER is another Perfect 10 for Diana Gabaldon!