is Number 3 of the Coldiron Series. The series has received high praise from national book reviewers such as Booklist, Bookmarks and Kirkus.
With his awesome list of stirring novels, F. M. Parker has won acclaim as a master story teller. In this novel Thunder Of Cannon, he has again created a story that stirs the most powerful human emotions as he brings alive the magnificent saga of the Civil War battle for New Orleans, and of the rascals and raiders - and the men and women who fought with honor and courage.
The time is April 1862 during the Civil War with the Union Navy pounding with their powerful cannons at Forts Jackson and Saint Phillip guarding the gates to New Orleans. The battle rages far from the forts on the Mississippi River to the narrow streets of the French Quarter, to wind swept Lake Pontchartrain and to the vast bayou country. The fighting for the great city plunges men and women into chaos, tragedy, and a struggle for survival and revenge.
Luke Coldiron, the horse breeder, gambler and gunman from the New Mexico territory, came to New Orleans with 250 horses to sell to the Confederate forces. He found a city overrun by Union forces, and a beautiful woman who would draw him into her need for revenge against a renegade U.S. Marine captain and his private band of thugs and murderers. Luke’s horses are stolen and he sets out to find the thieves and make them pay with their lives.
Susan Dauphin, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, watched her world go up in smoke. Driven to fury from an act of treachery and murder, she pits herself into a life or death struggle against the marauding Union Marines. She would earn one man’s hatred, and another’s undying love.
Marine Captain Rawls landed in New Orleans from Admiral Farragut’s naval warships. Ripping into the South’s heartland, he broke the Confederate hold on the city, and began a dirty private war of murder and thievery.
Roy lost a hand from a cannon ball at the battle for Fort Jackson. He joins Susan in her struggle for revenge against the marauding Union Marines.
Panther a Chickasaw Indian had run into the swamps and hid when his people were forcibly removed from their homeland in the bayou country and taken to the Oklahoma Territory. Now he fights the invaders to restore his honor as a warrior.
Blackberry Woman, Panther’s woman, who can see the future, tries to change it.
Bouchard, the professional duelist and his lovely quadroon mistress. He saves Coldiron’s life simply because he wanted to see how far away he could kill a man with a pistol.
With extraordinary heroes, and with a cast of characters that encompasses the rich mix of men and women - Union and Confederate warriors, Creoles, slaves, Indians, smugglers, duelists that peopled New Orleans, Thunder Of Cannon offers a harsh yet stirring vision of the battle for the city. It combines authenticity with non-stop action and suspense into a thrilling reading experience.
“Your father is dead,” Luke Coldiron said and sorry to utter the words to the young woman.
“How? Where did it happen?” Susan Dauphin asked quickly as tears welled up in her eyes.
“At your home. Raiders were attacking the house when your father and I got there. Your father charged them firing his pistol. They shot him.”
“They all escaped?”
“We killed three of them. Three got away. They’ve burned your home. Your slaves and I tried to put the fires out, but they had too much of a start before we could get to them. We were able to save a few things.”
“And what of your horses? Were you paid?”
“The raiders had blasted the safe open. All the money was gone. Also a second band of men killed the guards at the cavalry camp and stole all the horses. Both attacks were well planned and coordinated.”
A hate so hot that it seemed to burn swept over Susan as the need for vengeance rose black and ugly within her. Union men had slain her father and destroyed her home. They would pay a horrible price for that.
“Damn them all to hell!” she cried out. "