Published by Ballantine Books
on September 18, 2012
From award-winning journalist Timothy L. O’Brien comes a gripping historical thriller that poses a provocative question: What if the plot to assassinate President Lincoln was wider and more sinister than we ever imagined?
In late spring of 1865, as America mourns the death of its leader, Washington, D.C., police detective Temple McFadden makes a startling discovery. Strapped to the body of a dead man at the B & O Railroad station are two diaries, two documents that together reveal the true depth of the Lincoln conspiracy. Securing the diaries will put Temple’s life in jeopardy—and will endanger the fragile peace of a nation still torn by war.
Temple’s quest to bring the conspirators to justice takes him on a perilous journey through the gas-lit streets of the Civil War–era capital, into bawdy houses and back alleys where ruthless enemies await him in every shadowed corner. Aided by an underground network of friends—and by his wife, Fiona, a nurse who possesses a formidable arsenal of medicinal potions—Temple must stay one step ahead of Lafayette Baker, head of the Union Army’s spy service. Along the way, he’ll run from or rely on Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s fearsome secretary of war; the legendary Scottish spymaster Allan Pinkerton; abolitionist Sojourner Truth; the photographer Alexander Gardner; and many others.
Bristling with twists and building to a climax that will leave readers gasping, The Lincoln Conspiracy offers a riveting new account of what truly motivated the assassination of one of America’s most beloved presidents—and who participated in the plot to derail the train of liberty that Lincoln set in motion.
I wanted to like this book and did read it to the very end with some reservations along the way. I found that the characters were very hard to differentiate between, especially in the beginning. As the book progressed the characters were whittled down to the few manageable complex characters, this made it much easier to follow. Toward the end it finally felt like a mystery was forming and I looked forward to reaching the end of the book, but that turned out to be disappointing for me, maybe I expected too much. This would have been a great book if only the author had spent more time developing this mystery through history a little bit better based on the information gleaned from the two diaries Temple came to possess.