Fans of historical mysteries and alternate history novels will find much to like in Stephen L. Carter's latest novel, which posits Lincoln surviving Booth's assassination attempt only to face impeachment two years later at the hands of the Radicals within his own party. With the Senate moving towards a trial, a young African American woman, Abigail Canner, arrives in Washington to serve as a clerk for the law firm preparing to defend the president. Soon she finds herself tackling a series of mysteries all tied to the effort to bring down Lincoln. The question is, can she solve them in time to save the president -- and perhaps even the nation itself?
Carter's enjoyable prose and fast-paced plotting are the great strengths of the book, which he uses to bring events to a satisfying conclusion. Its theme of plutocrats and extremist Republicans conspiring to destroy a presidency is one that will resonate for many readers today, but Carter's writing ensures that his book will endure as one of the best of the alternate history genre.