The Kingsbridge Plot

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

THE KINGSBRIDGE PLOT is another gripping book from Martin and Annette Meyers, the husband-and-wife team who first collaborated on THE DUTCHMAN (1992), a mystery set in seventeenth century New Amsterdam. Although THE KINGSBRIDGE PLOT takes place a century later, it again shows freedom-loving colonists opposing the British, who are now entrenched in the former Dutch colony.

The protagonist of THE KINGSBRIDGE PLOT is a descendant of Sheriff Pieter Tonneman, the central figure in THE DUTCHMAN. After spending years in London studying medicine, however, young John Tonneman does not share his ancestor’s distaste for the British. Back in New York, he plans to remain neutral in the struggle between Loyalists and Patriots. Only after becoming personally involved with two courageous Patriots, Ben Mendoza and his sister Mariana, does Tonneman realize that he is faced with a choice between tyranny and freedom. Admittedly, his love for Mariana Mendoza makes Tonneman’s commitment to the Patriots virtually inevitable.

Meanwhile, by chance, Tonneman is drawn into the search for a murderer, who is leaving a trail of decapitated, red-haired women. This man’s capture is even more important than Tonneman realizes, for in fact Thomas Hickey is a paid assassin, hired by the British to get rid of General George Washington. In an exciting climactic scene, however, the plot is foiled, and the book ends with the villain being hanged and the lovers united in a celebration of liberty. THE KINGSBRIDGE PLOT is both a well-crafted murder mystery and a fascinating historical novel, successfully recreating a period in which ordinary people were determining the course of history.