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Stephen McCaskill

I have read (or rather listened to the book on CD) both A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger and Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson.

I found A Death in Belmont to be interesting, but the last part of the book dragged a bit, as the author relived the inner turmoil he felt as he learned more details about the two men discussed in the book. It grew a bit tedious to see him going back and forth between thinking the Roy Smith was guilty or innocent. I realize this was part of the reason for him writing the book, but I still felt it got a bit long-winded near the end.

Manhunt was a terrific book, full of personal correspondence from Booth and eyewitness accounts of the tragic scene at Ford's Theatre. It went into great detail about how Booth had planned to escape and followed him as his plan slowly fell apart and led to his eventually being found by Union soldiers. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested not only in historical crime, but in history in general, since he gives you a sense of what the United States was like at the time of Lincoln's assassination.

Mark Daniels

I can personally recommend two of those titles: "The Beautfiul Cigar Girl" and "Manhunt."

"Manhunt" has all the accuracy of another Lincoln Assassination book, "Blood on the Moon," but is told here in a fast-paced "fictional thriller" way. I tore through the book in just a couple days, and loved it! I want to read it again, and I don't think I've ever felt that way about ANY true crime book, even the excellent "literary" ones.

"Cigar Girl" is drier, but still very good. True Crime AND Edgar Allan Poe in the same book? Who can resist??

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