Monday, November 19, 2012

What We're Reading - A pair of Lincoln suspense thrillers.

With the release of the new Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln, I thought that I would make brief mention of two recent historical thrillers that Lincoln lovers [and thriller readers] may enjoy.

First up is The Lincoln Letter, by William Martin:
I have read and enjoyed William Martin [The Lost Constitution] before, and knew that I would again savor following his lead characters Peter Fallon and Evangeline Carrington as they engage in a treasure hunt through the world of rare books and documents when a newly discovered letter authored by Abraham Lincoln hints of a hidden diary containing his thoughts about the emancipation proclamation. What is in the diary? What are the political implications of its contents? With various factions trying to find it, will the diary be sold to a collector, supressed completely, or become a much-studied document to aide our understanding of Abraham Lincoln? Most important, can the diary be found? It's been nearly 150 years since it was last seen.  While the contemporary sections of this book are up to Martin’s usual entertaining standards, I really responded to the alternating historical chapters set in Civil War-era Washington D.C., and the circumstances surrounding how the diary was originally lost.  Martin does a terrific job of placing you in the dust, mud, and chaos of Lincoln’s era.
Visit the William Martin's website here.
The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy O'Brien:
The first in a brand new series of historical thrillers featuring Washington, D.C. police detective Temple McFadden, The Lincoln Conspiracy concerns Temple’s unintended acquisition of two diaries found in the days after Abraham Lincoln's death, and his resulting investigation into the assassination. How high and far-ranging was the conspiracy involving John Wilkes Booth?  Were government officials or other powerful forces involved? How dark and sinister were actual events, and will the fallout from these diaries lead to the end of the fragile peace brought by the end of the Civil War? Temple McFadden is aided by his tough-minded wife, and the story is enlivened with a sprinkling of actual historical figures such as Allan Pinkerton and Sojourner Truth. This is a promising start to a new series of six books featuring McFadden. 
For a video interview with the author, Timothy O’Brien click here.
Both these Lincoln-related thrillers are fun, engaging reads, as well as enjoyable ways to learn a bit about Abraham Lincoln the man and Civil War-era Washington, D.C. without having to pick up a history or biography. So after you go see Lincoln the movie, try The Lincoln Letter or The Lincoln Conspiracy --or both!

No comments: