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book cover of The Binding Oath

The Binding Oath

A novel by

On a hot June day in 1922, the Grand Dragon of Colorado's Ku Klux Klan holds a press conference in Denver's most elegant hotel, announcing that the Klan intends to recall the popular district attorney and replace him with one of its own members. Much to his dismay, Liz O'Brien, a smart, determined, and independent-minded reporter from The Denver Post, is the only person who attends. Her editor dismisses the story as unimportant, but when Liz stumbles upon a murder in the Denver slums, she suspects that the Klan is involved. Hampered by a police force riddled with corruption, the district attorney Phil Van Cise vainly struggles to produce the killer. Liz becomes convinced that Van Cise's recall will unleash Klan rule across Colorado and, armed only with the victim's name, she races against time to uncover the evidence that will lead to the killer and stop the growing wave of terror.

In The Binding Oath, Sybil Downing gives us a fast-paced novel that exposes a little-known part of Colorado history. Out of the ashes of disillusionment following World War I, the Ku Klux Klan rose to new heights, its four million members spreading racial and religious hatred across the nation. Colorado was one of the Klan's strongest enclaves, and Downing perfectly captures the subtle, clandestine terror inspired by its tactics of intimidation and violence as well as the power of the fear felt by the people it menaced. Downing creates in Liz O'Brien an adroit and tenacious sleuth who, with the help of her family's former maid Greta Kuhlmann and airmail pilot Frank Capillupo, unravels a treacherous plot to undermine freedom and cover up bootlegging, blackmail, and murder. Suspenseful and filled with meticulously researched historical detail, The Binding Oath is a thrilling tale of mystery and intrigue.


Used availability for Sybil Downing's The Binding Oath

Hardback Editions

February 2001 : USA Hardback

Title: The Binding Oath
Author(s): Sybil Downing
ISBN: 0-87081-607-1 / 978-0-87081-607-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Univ Pr of Colorado
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA