My review of Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln’s Corpse by James Swanson appears in today’s Wall Street Journal. The book’s formal publication date is next week. My editor apparently wanted to get in front of everyone else’s coverage.
The thing I’ll always remember about this book is reading it almost cover to cover at the train station in Richmond, Va. One day last month, I was stuck there for about eight hours. For the first couple, I was waiting for my train to arrive. Then we got on board and spent the most of the afternoon waiting to depart. Thank you, Amtrak!
Here’s the nut graf:
If this semi-sequel isn’t quite as gripping as its predecessor—”Manhunt” is one of the most riveting Civil War books of our time—the fault doesn’t lie entirely with Mr. Swanson. The Davis manhunt simply isn’t as compelling as the stuff of chasing a presidential killer. Yet “Bloody Crimes” enriches our understanding of Lincoln’s assassination and its aftermath.
I’ll have more to say about Bloody Crimes tomorrow.