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Soul catcher
Michael C. White
Adult Fiction WHITE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

White's latest novel (after 2004's The Garden of Martyrs), a sweeping if often predictable saga of Antebellum societal and political tensions, follows Augustus Cain, a down on his luck gambler, wounded Mexican-American War veteran and notorious fugitive slave catcher. After a run of bad luck, Cain accepts an assignment from Mr. Eberly, a wealthy Virginia landowner that Cain's in debt to, to track down two runaway slaves, Henry and Rosetta. Along with three of Eberly's men, Cain sets out on a dangerous journey that takes him from Richmond to New York and Boston. After Cain captures the runaways and turns homeward, the trek becomes a means of redemption for both the "soul catcher" and his captives, and paints an unsettling portrait of a nation on the brink of civil war. Intercut with the journey are vivid flashbacks of the battle that left Cain crippled. Despite an abundance of stock cameos (a traveling salesman/con artist, wise elderly people who dispense easy advice) and a predictable conclusion, the book succeeds in presenting a fractious era and a host of moral quagmires. Cain-a flawed and coarse antihero-becomes emblematic of a historical moment under White's sure hand. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Augustus Cain is a Mexican War (1846-48) veteran with a dark vocation: he catches runaway slaves and returns them to their owners for monetary reward. But "soul catching" has turned him into a rough gambler and alcoholic; he wants to clear his debts and make one last run up north before heading west to forget his troubled life and begin anew. His final job is to find two slaves who ran from a sinister plantation owner in Virginia. However, when he finds one of them, Rosetta, in Boston, he realizes that this mystical young woman can change his life forever. In a sweeping novel spanning the tumultuous time in American history between the Mexican and Civil wars, Cain crosses paths with legendary abolitionist John Brown, locates the Underground Railroad, and encounters other slave catchers as well as con men who could jeopardize his future. White has created a complicated and deeply scarred protagonist looking for salvation in a dark vision of human bondage, suffering, and deeply rooted changes that will split the nation into civil war. Very convincing and well wrought; suitable for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/07.]-Ron Samul, New London, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Augustus Cain
Down on hus luck; wounded Mexican-American War veteran; notorious fugitive slave catcher; sets out to capture two runaway slaves for a wealthy landowner he is in debt to.

African American
Fugitive slave on the run; lived a life of servitude to a cruel and unforgiving master; on the run for her freedom.

African American
Fugitive slave on the run for his freedom.

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