A deathbed confession and a long-hidden conspiracy are at the heart of a riveting historical mystery centered on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
In March 1900, as former Congressman John Bingham of Ohio lies dying, he begins to tell a strange tale to his physician, Dr. Jamie Fraser. Bingham famously prosecuted eight members of John Wilkes Booth's plot to kill Lincoln. But during the 1865 trial, conspirator Mary Surratt divulged a secret so explosive it could shatter the republic.
Though Bingham takes the secret to his grave, Fraser cannot let go of the mystery. Bored with small-town medical practice, he begins to investigate, securing an unlikely ally in Speed Cook, a black, college-educated professional ballplayer and would-be newspaper publisher. Cook is fascinated by Fraser's inquiry and, like Fraser, thinks the accepted version of Lincoln's assassination rings false. Was Booth truly the mastermind or were other, more powerful forces pulling the strings?
From Maryland to New York City, from Indiana to Washington, Fraser and Cook track down key figures and witnesses--including Mary Surratt's neurotic daughter Anna, Booth's nephew, actor Creston Clarke, and Clarke's attractive business manager, Mrs. Eliza Scott. Piece by piece the truth emerges--separating fact from rumor, innocent from guilty, and revealing a story of greed, ambition, courage, and tragedy.
Blending real and fictional characters, The Lincoln Deception is a superbly researched, brilliantly plotted and thoroughly gripping mystery that explores one of the nation's darkest and most fascinating eras and the conspiracy that changed world history.
Advance Praise For David O. Stewart And The Lincoln Deception
"David O. Stewart has done more than write an historical novel: The Lincoln Deception is concocted in the best traditions of the genre. He's unearthed a remote, fascinating and still-relevant tidbit from the past, then brought it to breathless, riveting life with vivid prose, top-notch research, stunning evocations of turn-of-the-century America, and masterful urgency. Entertaining, educating, and elevating." --David L. Robbins, author of War of the Rats and The Devil's Waters
"David O. Stewart dramatically reopens the file on the Lincoln assassination conspiracy with a nail-biting, historically grounded page turner. Where the facts end and the fiction begins will inspire plenty of debate. Meanwhile enjoy this for the terrific read Stewart provides." --Harold Holzer, author of Lincoln, official young adult companion book to the Steven Spielberg film
"David O. Stewart, a distinguished writer of historical nonfiction, brings off a remarkable feat in his debut novel. Seizing on the enigmatic last words of the man who prosecuted the Booth conspirators, Stewart transforms a little-known aspect of Lincoln assassination lore into a gripping mystery story. With its sharp plotting and engaging characters, the novel succeeds as both a thriller and a historical inquiry." --Daniel Stashower, author of The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War
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David O. Stewart is an award-winning author and the president of the "Washington Independent Review of Books". He is the author of several acclaimed histories, including "Madison s Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America"; "The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution";" Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln s Legacy"; and "American Emperor: Aaron Burr s Challenge to Jefferson s America". Stewart s first novel is "The Lincoln Deception".From Publishers Weekly:
Set in 1900, this impressive debut novel from historian Stewart (American Emperor) opens with Jamie Fraser, an Ohio country doctor, agonizing over the cryptic deathbed revelation of 85-year-old John Bingham, the respected statesman who tried the conspirators in the 16th president's murder: Mary Surratt, an accomplice to assassin John Wilkes Booth, privately confessed to Bingham a secret that threatened the survival of the republic. Along with Speed Cook, a black ex-baseball player and aspiring newspaperman, Fraser obsesses over parsing this secret, which could reveal a conspiracy that reaches beyond Booth to the higher powers of the Union and the Confederacy. Traversing New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., the amateur sleuths confront henchmen of the shadowy Sons of Liberty, racist mobs, and powerful financiers, whose cotton-trading connections are somehow tied to the fateful night at Ford's Theater. Eschewing the wild fantasies of many conspiracy thrillers, Stewart constructs a plausible version of history that works as both fiction and speculative inquiry. Agent: Will Lippincott, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (Sept.)
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