Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Lincoln Conspiracy: A Novel by Timothy L. O'Brien (

The Lincoln Conspiracy: A NovelTitle: The Lincoln Conspiracy
Author: Timothy L. O'Brien
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 353
Published: September 18th 2012 by Ballantine Books 
ISBN:  9780345496775
Source: Sent for arranged tour

Description: 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 gaslit 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. 

I Give This ...

I really didn't hesitate and all when asked to join the blog tour for this book.  I've always been a fan of Lincoln and I was curious how this might put a spin on his assassination.    

To be honest, this was a rather dry historical fiction.  I didn't mind the characters, in fact I found Temple to be absolutely fascinating.   I loved his background.  He's not originally from American but he takes his dedication to his country seriously.  Plus, I loved that he was smart as a fox and managed to outwit so many people in this book.  I often didn't know what he was going to do next.  I also loved that he had so many people that were willing to go the extra mile for him.  They didn't need an explanation to justify it, they believed in him and what he stood for.  Granted their cause was just and I think when the truth begins to trickle out they were even more willing to help.

I found the truth used in this book to be interesting.  I guess I don't know much about the building of the railroads at the time to say whether its a believable cause or not.  I know the expansion was important and whoever owned the way to get there was in a dangerous position of control.  I think I just expected a much deeper conspiracy.  But, people have killed for less.

I think I found this book dry because we spend a lot of time listening to characters talk.  There were times, I would just skim over pages of dialogue because it felt like it didn't deepen the story any.  It felt like it took a really long time to get to the point.  I often felt this was more of a historical mystery than anything.  Trying to piece together who was on who's side.  Who was the mystery person that all the coded notes kept referring too.  In the end I was a little disappointed.

So really, it was just an average addition to the many book about Lincoln, both fiction and non fiction.  Maybe those who understand Lincoln's involvement in the railroad will like this more than I did.


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