It is 1811 in Fort George, Upper Canada. Two twelve-year-old boys decide to be blood brothers for ever. The trouble is that one has been brought up to believe in God, King and Country, and to consider General Brock an admirable man, while the other’s father is an American in Canada whose admirable general is George Washington. My inner pre-teen loved it: lots of secrets, hostile grown-ups, bad smells (Eli, the American, is the son of a tanner), a faithful dog … I can’t wait for book two: A Hanging Offence, to come out in February. If I summon my 73-year-old critical faculties as a writer, I overwhelmingly approve this rattling good story, which deals intelligently with the moral and political dilemmas of the War of 1812.