Chasing Lincolns Killer
by Swanson, James L.
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School Library Journal Gr 5 Up-This volume is an adaptation of Swanson's Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (HarperCollins, 2006). Divided into 14 chapters and an epilogue, the sentences are shorter and chapters are condensed from the original but the rich details and suspense are ever present. Lacking are a bibliography and a notes section. Excellent black-and-white illustrations complement the text. Devoted to the South, John Wilkes Booth had planned to kidnap Lincoln and hold him hostage, but when that plan did not materialize, he hatched his assassination plot. Co-conspirators in Washington, Maryland, and Virginia helped him escape and evade capture for 12 days before being surrounded in a barn and killed. Readers will be engrossed by the almost hour-by-hour search and by the many people who encountered the killer as he tried to escape. It is a tale of intrigue and an engrossing mystery. With the approaching bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, this is a most welcome addition to all libraries.-Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Drawn from Swanson's 2007 adult work, Manhunt, this adaptation offers younger audiences a chronological, sometimes graphic play-by-play of Lincoln's assassination and the pursuit of his murderer and cohorts. An ever-increasing cast of characters in the 1865 conspiracy fills the pages, from assassin John Wilkes Booth to the Union sergeant who ended Booth's life in a burning tobacco barn. The narrative, peppered with some editorializing, jumps between Washington, -D.C., and Booth's countryside hideouts: "Booth's leg was throbbing painfully. He needed a doctor.... At the Petersen house, Abraham Lincoln would soon have more doctors than he could ever want, but little use for any of them." While Swanson's 14 brief, descriptive chapters tell a riveting story, the myriad details and jumping back and forth can at times feel whip-sawing. Still, this smartly designed work, printed in sepia ink and featuring well-integrated news clippings, playbills, portraits, period artwork and other extras, should appeal to students of Lincoln and the Civil War, but also attract newcomers to the subject. Ages 12-up. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Publishers Weekly The YA version of Swanson's bestselling Manhunt, this account of Lincoln's assassination and the 12-day search for his killer reads like a historical thriller, no matter that the narrative jumps among its locations and characters. As President Lincoln delivers victory speeches in April 1865, an enraged John Wilkes Booth vows death: "Now, by God, I'll put him through." Every bit of dialogue is said to come from original sources, adding a chill to the already disturbing conspiracy that Swanson unfolds in detail as Booth persuades friends and sympathizers to join his plot and later, to give him shelter. The author gives even the well-known murder scene at Ford's Theatre enough dramatic flourish to make the subject seem fresh. While Lincoln lays dying, Booth's accomplices clumsily attempt to kill Secretary of State William H. Seward, and Booth talks his way past a guard meant to bar him from crossing a bridge into Maryland. In focusing on Booth, the author reveals the depth of divisions in the nation just after the war, the disorder within the government and the challenges ahead. Abundant period photographs and documents enhance the book's immediacy. Ages 12-up. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Based on Manhunt (2006), his New York Times adult best-seller, Swanson provides a fast-paced account of the assassination of the sixteenth president and the gripping 12-day hunt for John Wilkes Booth and his fellow conspirators that followed. Though Booth remains his principal focus, the author cuts cinematically among the actions of the other conspirators. This device succeeds in building suspense but sometimes proves awkward and confusing, especially where chronology is concerned. Worse, there is no appended matter no index, no notes on sources, no bibliography, no time line. As a result, statements like It was the most beautiful night in the history of the capital, or Jones' eyes lit up, or It was one of the happiest days of his life are unsourced. The subject matter remains intrinsically fascinating, however, and Swanson's colorful account will hold readers' interest throughout. The inclusion of period photographs and documents adds further immediacy to the story.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2008 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.