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The Lincoln Conspiracy
Timothy L O'Brien

Ballantine Books
September 2012/ ISBN: 0345496779
Historical Thriller

Reviewed by Cheryl Green

A month after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Temple McFadden, a police detective for the Metropolitan Police Department, is on the way to meet two friends to help with a shipment arriving at the B&O Railway Station. He sees Stump Tigani, a man who was a courier during the war, being attacked. By the time Temple reaches him, Stump is dead, but Temple finds a package on his person, which he removes. Temple has to flee on horseback and stuffs the package down his boots. Much later, a wounded Temple has found safety at the Foggy Bottom home of his friend, Pint. The package Temple has been carrying is really two journals or diaries written by a man and a woman. What do they have in common? Abraham Lincoln.

There are a number of people who will go to great lengths to get their hands on these diaries. I especially enjoyed having real people such as Mary Todd Lincoln, Sojourner Truth, Allen Pinkerton and Edwin Stanton, to name a few, make cameos in the novel. We are taken on a tour of the city of Washington, D.C., from bordellos to the White House, from Georgetown to back alley shanties. Mr O'Brien has recreated a time that you can almost see, hear and smell.

Fiona, Temple McFadden's wife, has a big part is the story, too. One moment she is saving a life and the next she is getting rid of a man tailing her by chloroforming him in the Smithsonian Castle building. There is a lot of skullduggery and backstabbing going on, and Temple McFadden is going to figure out just who really is behind the conspiracy to assassinate the President. Escaping the watchful eye of Allen Pinkerton is just one of the many twists and turns this books takes. At the back of the diary written by the man is a section that is coded. Temple just knows that if he and Augustus can decode the messages, they will have the answers - if they don't get killed first.

Mr. O'Brien has written a wonderfully researched novel. It is a real page turner and I couldn't put it down. If you like your political thrillers with a historical edge, then this is the book for you.

Reviewer's Note: Mentions a character named Pint having a deaf sister and coming up with their own sign language which helped him with figuring out puzzles and ciphers.
Reviewed 2012