The Hard Side of the River

by Johnny Payne (Author)
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In the pre-Civil War South, an escaped slave and two young abolitionists make an uneasy pact with a former slave tracker in this gritty historical novel.

Maysville, Kentucky, 1833. Thirty years before the War Between the States, schoolteacher Dana Curbstone and preacher Cal Fenton have already begun their private war on the institution of slavery. When they conspire to smuggle escaped slave Jacob Pingram across the Maysville River, Pingram’s masters dispatch retired slave tracker Dan Baskin to retrieve their human cargo and bring the abolitionists to justice.

But Baskin has his own war to wage. Pingram knows the whereabouts of another former slave, Abejide. And Baskin is determined to learn the fate of the woman he loved and lost. Now everyone, slave and freeman alike, are hurtling toward an electric showdown on the mud-slick banks of the Maysville River from which nobody will escape unscathed.

Publication date
September 21, 2021
Page count
Paper ISBN