I am a big fan of history, and I enjoy reading good historical novels. Last week I made my way through the recently released Killing Lincoln by best-selling authors Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.
As the title reveals, it is a book about the events and actions leading up to, and through, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The book is divided into four parts, spanning the period history, the characters involved, the actual assassination, and the aftermath. The first section, “Total War,” details the closing events of the Civil War, giving an apt backdrop and familiarity with the characters involved. The second section, called “The Ides of Death,” details the circumstances surrounding John Wilkes Booth and his conspirators. It also gives the political climate of the times in Washington D.C. and the surrounding areas. Section three, “The Long Good Friday,” gives an hour by hour glimpse into April 14, 1865, the last day of Lincoln’s life. The final section, “The Chase,” details the aftermath of the conspiracy and assassination, including the closing days of the life of Booth.
The book is a very quick read. It is over 300 pages, but I swept through it in about 3 days, it was extremely engaging. It’s written like a novel, and you get caught up quickly in the history, the characters, and the amazing detail of the events as they unfold. I went into the book knowing the ending (spoiler alert: Lincoln dies), but that didn’t take away at all from the suspense as the story unfolded. This book may not be for everyone, but if you love U.S. history and a good novel, Killing Lincoln is worth the read.