Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy O'Brien (CLOSED)

The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy O'Brien
Ballantine Books
September 2012
Format: Hardcover, 353 pages

First line: Rain kept the dust down.

From the inside cover: 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.

My thoughts: I love reading historical fiction, but I tend to favor European historical fiction. My bookshelf reflects this with most of the historical fiction books I have being set during the Tudor period. I do have some books about American history, but they tend to all be about my other obsession - the Kennedy's. This is the first book I've read about Lincoln and I have to say it has made me want to read more about American history - especially during those early years of our country.

The Lincoln Conspiracy  is a captivating tale that takes place in the time shortly after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Washington DC Detective Temple MacFadden comes into possession of two diaries - diaries that seem to be in much demand. From that point on, we are taken on quite a ride as Temple and his friends try to decipher the codes they find in one of the diaries and piece everything together.  It appears that both diaries contain information which could reveal truths not only about Lincoln, but also about those who plotted to kill him and have the potential to rewrite what we know about history.

The book is a little slow at first, but then the action picks up and it moves along much quicker. We also get snippets of Temple's life as a little boy interspersed throughout the book. Temple's wife Fiona is quite a strong, intelligent woman, who is not afraid to stand up for what she believes is right.

There are many historical people that appear in this book, some that I vaguely remember from my US history classes in high school and some that I do not remember at all. The best thing about reading this is that I have come away wanting to read more about the topic  - more about Lincoln and his time in office, more about the aftermath of his assassination, and more about the other people mentioned, such as Sojourner Truth and Mary Todd Lincoln. To me that is one of the highest compliments I can give an author - it is so thought-provoking that it leaves me with wanting more.  

I understand that this is not the last we will see of Temple MacFadden and I will be eagerly awaiting his return. In the meantime, I will certainly be looking for other books on Lincoln. Have you read or come across any books about Lincoln? If so, please share!

About the author: Timothy L. O’Brien is the Executive Editor of The Huffington Post, where he edited the 2012 Pulitzer Prize–winning series about wounded war veterans, “Beyond the Battlefield.” Previously, he was an editor and reporter at The New York Times. There, he helped to lead a team of Times reporters that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in Public Service in 2009 for coverage of the financial crisis. O’Brien, a graduate of Georgetown University, holds three master's degrees -- in US History,Business and Journalism -- all from Columbia University. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and two children.
For more information, visit Timothy's website.

Be sure to check out all the other stops on the blog tour and follow the tour on Twitter (hashtag:  #LincolnConspiracyTour). 

I received a complimentary copy of The Lincoln Conspirarcy by Timothy O'Brien from Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

Giveaway Information (CLOSED):

Thanks to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours I have one copy of The Lincoln Conspiracy to give away to my readers.  Giveaway is open to US only.

To enter please leave a comment below and include your email address (only comments with email addresses will be entered in the giveaway). 

- +1 additional entry - Who is your favorite American historical figure - let me know who it is and why in your comment.

- +3 additional entries become a follower of Always With a Book. If you are already a follower you will automatically receive the bonus entries (just leave the name you follow under). 

- +1 additional entry each, please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting, pinning onto Pinterest or posting this giveaway on Facebook. 
All entries can be in one comment but the comment MUST include your email address or it will not be included in the giveaway.

Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!



  1. Thanks for this giveaway. My favorite historical figure is Benjamin Franklin for his creativity and inventions. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. Would love this novel. Thanks. A historical individual whom I would like to meet is Mark Twain, for his wit, books and unique character. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  3. Ooh, count me in! I think my favorite historical individual might be FDR, as he did so much to protect America's wild places for the next generations to enjoy. Similarly Ansel Adams, Audubon and dozens of others hold my fascination. Thanks for the giveaway, Liene @ LLucane at yahoo dot com

  4. lafra86 at gmail dot com

    Favorite historical figure: Queen Victoria-ruled her country gracefully even after the death of the love of her life.

    Google follower: Lara Frame

    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/lafra86

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Cool giveaway, but I have already read this book so I don't want to take it from someone who hasn't :)

  6. I'm really looking forward to getting a copy of this book.

    +1 My favorite American historical figures are the frontiersmen. Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett in particular. They opened up the country and led the way for all the rest of us.

    +3 I follow Always With a Book by email: carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

    +1 I tweeted about the giveaway: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/268568095281524736


  7. Wonderful review and giveaway! Thank you for hosting this.

    Abe Lincoln is one of my favorite Americans, because of his honesty, sincerity, and ability to lead, as well as the "simple" yet profound life he led. His life was filled with physical labor, and deep reflection and thought.

    I'm a follower and will post this giveaway in my blog's sidebar.


  8. Just finished reading this book for the same tour, it's really awesome, and I would love to win an extra copy for a friend.
    My favorite American historical figure is Daniel Boone, because of his pioneer spirit, his spirit of adventure, and because he is one of the ancestors of my husband!!
    I follow you through RSS feed.
    my tweet is here: https://twitter.com/wordsandpeace/status/268834496776912896

    ehc16e at yahoo dot com

  9. I felt the same way as you about the depth of O'Brien's novel! I spent a lot of time looking up people, events, timeframes, etc. on Google :) I'm partial to American history, however, except for my Tudor addiction ;P


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