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“President Lincoln's Spy ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 14/03/2008

President Lincoln's Spy
Steven Wilson
Kensington, May 2008, $14.00
ISBN: 0758225148

In July 1861, during what later became known by historians as the Battle of Bull Run, Northern Colonel Pettibone calls for a retreat as the rebel forces appear ready to break through his line. Thinking no retreat or surrender, Captain Fitz Dunaway ignores the order and instead leads a counter surge that prevents the Confederate army from breaching the Union lines. Outraged by the defiance of his inferior officer, Pettibone has Dunaway detained in the guardhouse.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of War Thaddeus Prescott offers Dunaway a job that will get him out of the jail and allow him to take the risks he seems to relish. Dunaway accepts being part of President Lincoln's protective force, but understands his mission is to uncover who is plotting to kill the leader of the Free States. To do this he must pose as a Lincoln hater so that the conspirators ask him to join the plot to kill the President.

PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S SPY is an engaging well written historical fiction thriller that paradoxically suffers from Steven Wilson choosing so well known of a figure and adhering to facts that readers know what will ultimately happen at least to the President. Still Dunaway's escapades make for an interesting tale as the hero begins to understand politics has strange bedfellows so not to trust anyone who just might be undercover working for some other side.

Harriet Klausner

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