Was John Wilkes Booth truly the mastermind behind the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the plot to murder other members of his administration, or were other more powerful forces pulling the strings behind the scenes?
Blending real and fictional characters, lawyer-turned-author David O. Stewart commemorates Lincoln's birthday with a discussion of his new work of historical fiction The Lincoln Deception on Wednesday, February 12, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
The hero of The Lincoln Deception is Dr. James Fraser, who hears the dying words of former congressman John Bingham and sets out to unravel his secret through a treacherous path strewn with descendants of shooter John Wilkes Booth, surviving conspirators, aging Confederates, and a titan of the global cotton trade.
"I took care to make sure the history is solid, except where I had to make it up," Stewart says. "Hey, it's a novel!"
According to author David L. Robbins, "Stewart has done more than write an historical novel. The Lincoln Deception is concocted in the best traditions of the genre. He's unearthed a remote, fascinating, and still-relevant tidbit from the past, then brought it to breathless, riveting life with vivid prose, top-notch research, stunning evocations of turn-of-the-century America, and masterful urgency. Entertaining, educating, and elevating."
As an attorney, Stewart specialized in criminal law and challenging the constitutionality of government policies. His book The Summer of 1787, about the writing of the Constitution, grew out of a Supreme Court case on which he was working. His second book, Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln's Legacy, had its roots in a judicial impeachment trial he argued before the U.S. Senate in 1989. His American Emperor: Aaron Burr's Challenge to Jefferson's America explores Burr's Western expedition of 1805-07 and his treason trial before Chief Justice John Marshall.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th & Baltimore. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407.