Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

I picked this book up because Lincoln is one of my favorite presidents and I was curious to read this book after I heard so much hype about the book. I am not a huge fan of Bill O'Reilly, but decided to give the book a chance when I heard that it was written more like a suspense novel than a straight historical non-fiction book.

I liked the set up of the book - it is broken up into 3 parts. The first part of the book recaps the last week of the Civil War and the surrender of Lee. Part two focuses on John Wilkes Booth and the formation of the assassination plot. I liked how the authors didn't just focus on Booth and included the other players as well. I think most people who don't know a lot about the subject would assume that Booth acted alone and the only intended victim was Lincoln, and this book does a good job illustrating how this assassination plot's goal was bigger than just killing the president - the goal was to bring down the Federal Government, which is why it included other prominent political figures such as the Vice President, the Secretary of War, and General Grant. The last section of the book deals with the aftermath of the Lincoln's assassination, including the manhunt for Booth and the trials and punishments of his various accomplices.

I was somewhat disappointed with the book overall and did not appreciate the style of the book. In fact, I think in a lot of ways it detracts from the story. I felt that O'Reilly and Dugard took too many liberties with interpreting the thoughts and feelings of the various characters in an effort to make the book more dramatic and suspenseful. The problem with this style is that some of the more dramatic statements and conclusions can be construed as actual facts, rather than an interpretation of the truth. I think I would have preferred a more straight forward telling of the story. Nevertheless, people who are not fans of historical non-fiction, but are interested in the subject will probably enjoy the style more than I did. It is a quick read, so if you are like me (and have a pet-peeve about starting and book and not finishing it) and discover that the style of the book is annoying, at least it won't take you long to get through it. 

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