October 2010 Indie Next List
“Bloody Crimes relates the gripping stories of President Lincoln's funeral and the hunt for Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Since the grief-stricken nation largely believed that Davis had masterminded Lincoln's murder, the two events are closely linked. Swanson, an acknowledged expert on Lincoln's assassination, writes with passion and authority, offering a powerful story enriched with vivid details that sweeps readers back to the dark, uncertain days of late April 1865. A triumph!”
— Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA
On the morning of April 2, 1865, Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, received a telegram from General Robert E. Lee. There is no more timethe Yankees are coming, it warned. Shortly before midnight, Davis fled the capital, setting off an intense and thrilling chase in which Union cavalry hunted the Confederate president. Two weeks later, President Lincoln was assassinated, and the nation was convinced that Davis was involved in the conspiracy that led to the crime. To the Union, Davis was no longer merely a traitor. He became a murderer, a wanted man with a one-hundred-thousand-dollar bounty on his head. Davis was hunted down and placed in captivity, the beginning of an intense and dramatic odyssey that would transform him into a martyr of the Souths Lost Cause. Meanwhile, Lincolns final journey began when soldiers placed his corpse aboard a special train that would carry the fallen president through the largest and most magnificent funeral pageant in American history.
The saga that began with Manhunt continues with the suspenseful and electrifying Bloody Crimes. James Swanson masterfully weaves together the stories of two fallen leaders as they made their last expeditions through the bloody landscape of a wounded nation.
About the Author
Swanson is the editor in chief of the Supreme Court Review and a senior fellow in constitutional studies.
Richard Thomas; consultant: Peter Albright, MD