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The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O'Brien
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The Lincoln Conspiracy (edition 2012)

by Timothy L. O'Brien

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11149108,775 (3.48)8
Member:macygma
Title:The Lincoln Conspiracy
Authors:Timothy L. O'Brien
Info:Random House (2012), Edition: 1ST, Audio CD
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:History, Abrahan Lincoln, assassination

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The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O'Brien

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received thai book through the Library Thing Early reviewers program. A well written historical novel - set in Washington D.C. after the assassination of President Lincoln. Temple McFadden is a Metropolitan Police detective - and gets tangled in events and information relating to the end of Lincoln's life. We see an interesting view of life in D.C. - meet a wide array of characters, some historical (Lincoln's widow, Pinkerton), some fictional. There are interesting views of political and social forces and pressures in a turbulent time of history. I enjoyed it, and have some hope that it may be the first of a series with these characters, though it will be hard to come up with an equivalently engaging set of events for a sequel. ( )
  Helenoel | Aug 23, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy O'Brien is a historical fiction novel about the events of President Lincoln's assassination , in Washington, DC. I thought it was well, written, and I enjoyed the story as well as the characters.

I received this book as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. ( )
  liisa22 | Jul 7, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
On the plus side, vivid historical detail bringing the immediate post-Civil War period in all its messiness and uncertainty to life. On the downside, the characters are a bit thin because so much is just happening that we never find out nearly enough about who they are as people to fully satisfy me, and as consequence also, the numerous plot threads are often somewhat confusing. An interesting premise with something of a mixed bag in terms of execution--still a pretty good read. ( )
  corglacier7 | Mar 20, 2013 |
Historical fiction set in post-Civil War America is far from my forte or an time period I read much about, but when I was offered a chance to read The Lincoln Conspiracy as part of a blog tour, I couldn't resist. From the title to the cover to the blurb, this is a book that seemed right up my alley. Lincoln is one of those Presidents that will always intrigue and interest me and I was curious to see what type of individual spin O'Brien would use for his version of the events around the assassination. Timothy O'Brien proves himself a more than able storyteller in his easy-to-envision version of Lincoln's American. This wasn't a perfect read for me, but I was impressed enough with the author's style and imagination to be more than willing to read another book of his down the road. His obvious enthusiasm for American history and this particular time period shine through the narrative, and is one of the most compelling components to a well-constructed novel.

Though I was interested in both the plot and the protagonist of Temple McFadden, the novel started off slowly for me. There's action and adventure and gunfights from the first chapter, but I wasn't fully involved in the plot being unwound until about halfway through the novel, and had a hard time being fully engaged in the story. I think that the introduction is so frenetic and fast-paced, I was left without a firm impression on who the key players were and what their motivations were towards the diaries. The suspense was not as heavy or all encompassing as I would have expected for a thriller novel about uncovering an assassination conspiracy; again I believe that is the result of breakneck speed at which everything happens in Temple's dogged and dangerous investigation. That isn't to say that I wasn't eventually caught up in the plot and reveals, but that it just took a while longer than I would have liked. Once The Lincoln Conspiracy starts hitting on all cylinders, it is an entertaining and vivid look at the fallout from one of America's most shocking events.

Coinciding with O'Brien's obvious knowledge and love for the time/area shown, it's easy to get a good feel for postbellum Washington, D.C. The scenery and the various aspects of the city are always described and so easy to imagine. Such detail is worked into the narrative easily, and doesn't distract from the main focus of the momentum that O'Brien started off with. Appearances from well-known historical personages - from Pinkerton to Lafayette Baker to Mary and Robert Todd Lincoln - are fun additions while adding to the overall benefit of the story. The main characters can come across as slightly blasé and flat, but for the most part, they are wildly disparate and well-rounded people with unique motivations and personalities. I thought the secondary and tertiary characters were great additions - and ones that often stole the show from Temple and his various antagonists.

I did have some issues with dialogue and vocabulary of the novel. Sometimes the interactions between characters and how they talked felt just off to me, but it was an intermittent problem and so small of a one that didn't distract me too much from the story itself. I also felt very uncomfortable with how many times the n-word was used - authentic or not. While that may be how the populace talked and addressed other races at the time, I will never be okay with reading it. A personal issue, to be quite honest, and one I don't begrudge the author for using. O'Brien is authentic to history in so many ways over the course of the novel, and my personal attitudes didn't drastically impact my reaction to the novel. Just be warned, it is used frequently.

The twist at the end is a good one, if not a wholly unexpected turn of events. Those familiar with conspiracies about Lincoln's death will half-expect how things turn out with the conspiracy, but O'Brien is more than capable of managing to manipulate a different ending than the one I assumed it would be. If The Lincoln Conspiracy ends with less solid resolution than I think it deserved, it is still a rewarding, engaging and creative novel about an interesting time, peopled with well-drawn characters. ( )
  msjessie | Feb 4, 2013 |
Received this title as a Goodreads giveaway. I thought the author was Tim O'Brien who wrote "The Things They Carried" about the Vietnam war; but, this is a different Timothy O'Brien and not the same author at all. Early into the book and it is intended as an action/adventure fictional account of what might have transpired in DC around Lincoln's death.
Finished the pre-publication edition this morning. The author's strength is in depicting the period of the nation - the transportation, the clothing, the beliefs, the occupations, the technology, etc. I particularly enjoyed the one scene with the photographer and his negative of the last photo of Lincoln. (I recently joined a photo club and am learning digital photography, so, there is a natural interest.) The plot was interesting and held my attention. Living in the DC suburbs, I was interested in the dated scenes of historic Washington DC sites, too.
The author's weakness is that I found the story often confusing - so many characters and not enough initial character development for the leads and little transition between scenes. ( )
  tkhughes8 | Jan 24, 2013 |
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Epigraph
"The road must be built" ------ Abraham Lincoln
Dedication
For my wife, Devon Corneal, who spins the wind
First words
Rain kept the dust down. Nothing else in Washington did, especially in early summer, when the heat started on and the dirt in the streets the slow broil that led into August.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345496779, Hardcover)

A nation shattered by its president's murder
Two diaries that reveal the true scope of an American conspiracy
A detective determined to bring the truth to light, no matter what it costs him
 
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 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.
 
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.

"History as a dangerous, inventive game. Fascinating."
--Martin Cruz Smith
 "The Lincoln Conspiracy is a hell of a good read. It's an exciting thriller full of believable characters and absorbing history, and the end result is a page-turning blend of research and imagination."
--David Liss

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:00 -0400)

"In the late spring of 1865, as Washington mourns the death of Lincoln, Detective Temple McFadden witnesses a murder at the B&O Railroad Station--and then makes an even more staggering discovery. On his slain friend's body he finds two diaries, one that clearly belongs to Mary Todd Lincoln and one that he learns was penned by John Wilkes Booth. Together, these documents reveal the true depth and reach of the conspiracy behind the assassination"--… (more)

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