Seth Grahame-Smith hit the bestseller lists earlier this year with his mashup horror novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The book’s playful premise is that Lincoln’s entire career was driven by a hatred of vampires and a determination to wipe them out.
The title of James Swanson’s new book, Bloody Crimes, could do double duty as the title of a vampire novel. It has nothing to do with undead bloodsuckers, of course. Yet Swanson does reproduce an intriguting passage by journalist George Alfred Townsend. In it, Lincoln isn’t a vampire hunter. Instead, he’s hunted by vampires–the metaphorical kind. They represent the patronage seekers who stalked Lincoln constantly:
“They pressed upon him through the great door opposite his window, and hat in hand, came courtsying to his chair, with an obsequious ‘Mr. President!’ If he dared, though the chief magistrate and commander of the army and navy, to go out the great door, these vampires leaped upon him with their Babylonian pleas.”
My review of Swanson’s book is here.