Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse

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9780061233784: Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse

In Bloody Crimes, James L. Swanson—the Edgar® Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Manhunt—brings to life two epic events of the Civil War era: the thrilling chase to apprehend Confederate president Jefferson Davis in the wake of the Lincoln assassination and the momentous  20 -day funeral that took Abraham Lincoln’s body home to Springfield. A true tale full of fascinating twists and turns, and lavishly illustrated with dozens of rare historical images—some never before seen—Bloody Crimes is a fascinating companion to Swanson’s Manhunt and  a riveting true-crime thriller that will electrify civil war buffs, general readers, and everyone in between.

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Review:

“Gripping sometimes even gruesome and heartrending.... Brilliant.” (USA Today)

“With the publication of Bloody Crimes, James L. Swanson emerges as one of America’s greatest historians. Swanson recounts the closing drama of the Civil War with hair-raising precision and the vivid narrative drive of a top-tier novelist. A grand tour de force!” (Douglas Brinkley, author of The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America)

“James Swanson is a master storyteller. Bloody Crimes is not only a thoroughly terrific read; it is a valuable contribution to history. Swanson’s brilliant decision to weave together the final days of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis provides fresh and compelling insights on both familiar figures.” (Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln)

“Striking ....Full of vigorous prose and dynamic stories about the period immediately following the end of the Civil War.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Swanson’s account of Lincoln’s death pageant is moving, but Davis’ flight lends the book enough suspense to drive a Hollywood thriller.. . Swanson knows how to keep his audience breathlessly entertained. It’s Davis’ surprising turn as a tragic figure in Bloody Crimes, however, that might prove most memorable.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

“Page-turning....Swanson again creates page-turning suspense out of historical events. . . .Gripping.... Swanson has the gift to make [history] compelling.” (Associated Press)

“A haunting masterpiece. James Swanson has written a thrilling book of death and longing, of defeat and resurrection.” (Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caught and Tell No One)

“A brilliant narrative that keeps the reader spellbound from beginning to end. James Swanson’s vivid style and historical accuracy are unsurpassed, and he makes the parallel journeys of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis come magically alive. I wish I had written this book.” (Edward Steers, Jr., author of Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and The Lincoln Assassination Encyclopedia)

“James Swanson is a giant. With his instant classic Manhunt, and its triumphant follow up Bloody Crimes, Swanson proves beyond all doubt that he is a master of historical true-crime epic.....Bloody Crimes is irresistibly captivating. I highly recommend it.” (Vincent Bugliosi, Edgar award-winning author of Helter Skelter and Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy)

“James Swanson has done it again. Bloody Crimes is a moving, evocative trip back in time to the tumultuous spring of 1865. Swanson’s meticulous research and sparkling prose make it an essential companion to his award winning bestseller, Manhunt.” (Michael Burlingame, author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life)

From the Back Cover:

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 time—the Yankees are coming, it warned. Shortly before midnight, Davis boarded a train from Richmond and 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. Lincoln's murder, autopsy, and White House funeral transfixed the nation. His final journey began when soldiers placed his corpse aboard a special train that would carry him home on the 1,600-mile trip to Springfield. Along the way, more than a million Americans looked upon their martyr's face, and several million watched the funeral train roll by. It was the largest and most magnificent funeral pageant in American history.

To the Union, Davis was no longer merely a traitor. He became a murderer, a wanted man with a $100,000 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 South's Lost Cause.

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.

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