Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Holy Ground is a historical mystery written by Karl F. Hollenbach. David Crist is an attorney whose plans to spend Saturday with his wife and son are put on hold after he gets a message from his secretary that his Uncle Bob needs to consult with him on a professional matter. As he takes the two-hour trip up to Holy Ground, his uncle's land, he remembers hearing his grandfather tell him stories about the Civil War. When he gets to Holy Ground, he can hear voices inside, but no one answers the door. He finally gets inside but Uncle Bob and his aunt are nowhere to be found. The coffee in their cups is still warm, and a few shards of ice are floating in their water. David calls the police who seem unconcerned about the sudden disappearance.
Karl F. Hollenbach's historical mystery, Holy Ground, is a marvelous trip into two eras in the past. There's David's story which is set in 1935, and that of Joshua Applegate, a young Union soldier who enlists in 1862. Hollenbach makes both times come alive with his fluid and smooth historical storytelling. Applegate's story is particularly enjoyable as the reader witnesses the young man's coming of age and watches as he grows into a thoughtful and caring man. The two stories merge well in that house which Applegate built, with its Oriental carpet bequeathed to him by an older neighbor, Martin Talmadage who sold Applegate his land and became his mentor and friend. Holy Ground is a richly textured and compelling read that will thrill mystery buffs and historical fiction readers alike. It's highly recommended.