Review: The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O'Brien

Title: The Lincoln Conspiracy
Author: Timothy L. O'Brien
Publisher: Ballantine Books (a division of Random House) September 18, 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction
Labels: Suspense, Detective, Murder, Mystery, Post Civil War
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 368
Rating: 4 Stars for Very Good

It is early summer 1865 in Washington D. C. President Abraham Lincoln had recently been murdered. His grieving widow still occupies The White House. 
Irish-American Detective Temple McFadden, happened upon a man that he'd known that had taken part in questionable activity during the Civil War. At a train station Temple watched as this man was murdered. In this man's coat pocket were two leather notebooks. Temple removes these notebooks and makes a speedy and precarious run for safety. Two groups of men follow Temple. Temple in taking these notebooks which turn out to be two separate diaries, create havoc in his life and in the life of his wife and friends. Temple is a savvy young man. He is also a man of principle and unwavering loyalty and tenacity when he believes a task must be accomplished. Temple's wife is the lovely and intelligent Fiona McFadden. She has medical skills that will be an asset during this story. Their best friend is a black man named Augustus Spriggs. The three are a team. During the turbulent post Civil War years, even in the capitol---free black men, especially educated black men, were not safe.
The Lincoln Conspiracy unravels a mystery as to the planning and events of Lincoln's death.

My Review:
I very much enjoyed reading this story!
Positive Points:
  1. The setting. The authors descriptions of Washington D.C., post Civil War period, mid-1800's detective work and medical practices, are all outstanding. I could easily picture in my mind the lay-out of each scene. The story was brought to life through crisp details, and this also helped to set the tone and mood for this historical fiction story. 
  2. The main character Temple McFadden is portrayed for the reader as a "real person." He is shown with imperfections, temper flares, mistakes. He is also portrayed as an admirable person. I felt drawn to him, perhaps because of his "defection" that he has worked hard to overcome. He comes across as trustworthy, because he never tires and never surrenders when he believes in something. He is a man of integrity. 
  3. Often there is one hero and one villain. I guess this makes a story simple to write. The Lincoln Conspiracy has multiple heroes and villains, as well as degrees to which they may border on either side. I felt this gave the story an added dimension. 
  4. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is shown through the Civil War Veterans that are in a few scenes. They gave a seriousness and reality to the setting of Washington D.C. after the Civil War. These men who stood on the street corners with their "thousand yard stare", God Bless Them!
Negative Point (sort of):
  1. On reading the last few pages I felt short-changed, I wanted the story to give me a few more pages. But.....then I read The Lincoln Conspiracy is a book One! So now I feel better, can't wait till the next book is published.
Thank you to Ballantine Books, Timothy L. O'Brien, and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, for my free review copy of The Lincoln Conspiracy in exchange for an honest review.

Tour Information:

Link @ Amazon:
Hardcover $16.47
Kindle $12.99


  1. Hi there, just letting you know that you are in my Featured Book Blog sidebar for December on Carole's Chatter. Have a great week.

  2. Sounds like a great book. I will put it on my reading list. My list has over 500 ebooks on it. I'm slowly digging my way through.

  3. Thanks for your great review. I also enjoyed this book very much. here is my review:


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