'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Killing Lincoln

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'Killing Lincoln'    by Bill O'Reilly

Listen to Bill reading on the audiobook format!

Goodreads Book Discription:
A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega-bestselling author Bill O'Reilly

In the midst of the patriotic celebrations in Washington D.C., John Wilkes Booth—charismatic ladies' man and impenitent racist—murders Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre. A furious manhunt ensues and Booth immediately becomes the country's most wanted fugitive. Lafayette C. Baker, a smart but shifty New York detective and former Union spy, unravels the string of clues leading to Booth, while federal forces track his accomplices. The thrilling chase ends in a fiery shootout and a series of court-ordered executions—including that of the first woman ever executed by the U.S. government, Mary Surratt. Featuring some of history's most remarkable figures, vivid detail, and page-turning action, Killing Lincoln is history that reads like a thriller. 

'The man with six weeks to live is anxious'. That is the first line in this historical thriller. The book is divided into 4 parts: Total War: sets the stage with what is happening in the final days of the Civil War. Attitudes, grudges, rebellion, hatred, divisions.  Ides of Death:The war is over now and the plot is being planned.  The Long Good Friday: The events step by step that happened on the day Lincoln was killed. So many little nuances and coincidences. and finally The Chase: Lincoln has been assassinated and Seward brutally attacked in his bed and now the manhunt is on for the perpetrators.  

I really enjoyed this book. It is written like a historical thriller, taking us from Lincoln's second inauguration to the capture of John Wilkes Booth. Full of little facts and coincidences that I had not previously heard when learning about Lincoln. I read it in 2 days and had the sense of urgency as I read it that made me want to get to Lincoln and tell him don't go to Ford's! Had they stuck to their first plans, had he leaned forward to look at the audience just one second sooner...Such a shame and loss of such a great man.

You get insight into his and Mary's marriage and his amazingly strong faith and his love for his country and countrymen. Lincoln was a very wise man. A man I firmly believe was raised up for this specific time in our nation.  You just have to wonder who we would be as a nation had he lived to lead us through the healing and restoration period after this great conflict.

A couple of the interesting little facts we learn in this story: 

In 1859 A congressman shot & killed his mistress's husband. The husband, Philip Barton Key, was a United States attorney and the son of Francis Scott Key, who wrote 'The Star Spangled Banner' 

John Wilkes Booth's brother, Edwin Booth, once saved Lincoln's son Robert from death when he caught his coat and kept him from falling in front of a train as it entered the station.

Major Henry Reed Rathbone, present in the theater box the night Lincoln was assassinated, wounded by Booth, later married his date from that evening and later went insane and killed her with a knife and spent the last years of his life institutionalized

At the end of the book Mr. O'Reilly tells us what happened to all the 'players' in the story and then includes a copy of the Harper's Weekly from April 29, 1865 entirely devoted to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. This edition went to press just hours after Booth was found and shot dead.

I highly recommend this to everyone who loves, Lincoln, espionage thrillers and history.


  1. One of my neighbors was talking about this book the other day - he enjoyed it too. Thanks for the review!

  2. I haven't read anything about Lincoln, so this one sounds exciting to me. Will link to your review on War Through the Generations.

  3. Thanks Anna. Hope you like it too!


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