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The impeachment of Abraham Lincoln
Stephen L. Carter
Adult Fiction CARTER

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Entering a season heavy with Lincolniana (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter hits movie theaters in June, followed by a Spielberg biopic starring Daniel Day-Lewis in December), Stephen L. Carter delivers a doorstop of alternate history speculating whether Congress would have impeached Lincoln for abuses of power during the Civil War if only he had survived Booth's bullet. Alas, The Plot Against America this ain't. This is Lincoln by way of Dan Brown, complete with ciphers and conspiracies and breathless escapes, only not so breathless, since Carter lacks Brown's talent for narrative momentum. It takes nearly 60 pages for the first dead body to show up, and then nothing much happens for the next 60. The pace picks up in the much better second half, when Lincoln is finally on trial and the author (a Yale Law professor) gets to trot out some enjoyable courtroom shenanigans. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Yale professor Carter sets his fifth thriller (after Jericho's Fall) in an alternate past in which President Lincoln has survived John Wilkes Booth's assassination attempt. Two years later, in 1867, the Radical Republicans want the President out. They initiate impeachment proceedings, claiming he has abused his powers and threatened a military dictatorship. Lincoln's lawyers hire Abigail Canner, a young black graduate of Oberlin College, to clerk for them, then sideline her-she is just window dressing for their efforts. But events bring her front and center. Abigail is a wonderful creation; heedless of obstacles, she presses forward. There's an almost-love story, which works, and a puzzle to be solved and villains to be foiled-these work less well. VERDICT Carter writes in the naturalistic school of Theodore Dreiser. His strength lies in capturing the subtle nuances of social interaction between blacks and whites. If he ever crafts a novel that doesn't depend on a creaky thriller plot for its impetus, it should be a good one-he's a superb social observer. In the meantime, his latest is fun. Carter has many readers, and the topic will attract more. [See Prepub Alert, 1/8/12.]-David Keymer. Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Abigail Canner
Age: 21
African American
Works at a law firm deciding Lincoln in his impeachment trial.

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