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The Wilson Deception (A Fraser and Cook Mystery Book 2) Hardcover – September 29, 2015
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Praise For David O. Stewart And The Lincoln Deception
"More than enough to satisfy any reader of historical whodunits." --The Washington Post
"Historian Stewart's debut novel is dense with detail and intrigue, making a hearty read for conspiracy addicts." --Library Journal
"A little-known aspect of Lincoln assassination lore makes a gripping thriller and historical inquiry." --The Roanoke Beacon
"Most Lincoln fiction is dreadful. This fast-paced and smartly researched first novel is astonishingly good, complete with sharp and colorful characters, nicely drawn by Stewart." --Bloomberg News, 6 Best Books of 2013
"Impressive debut novel. . .Eschewing the wild fantasies of many conspiracy thrillers, Stewart constructs a plausible version of history that works as both fiction and speculative inquiry." --Publishers Weekly
About the Author
David O. Stewart is the author of several works of history, most recently Madison's Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America, which have been awarded the Washington Writing Award and the Society of the Cincinnati History Prize. He lives in Maryland and his website is at www.davidostewart.com.
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In short if you like suspense and mystery, good writing and history, you’ll love “The Wilson Deception.” And here is a tip from a reader of the first, and now second, in this series. Each one of these novels stand alone and the books do not need to be read in order. So go ahead and get this one now. You’re bound anyway to want to buy the first one when you get to the end.
In the larger story, Mr. Stewart's narrative takes place around the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 where the "big four,' primary leaders of the Allied forces in the War to end all Wars, Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Great Britain; Georges Clemenceau, Prime Minister of France; Vittorio Orlando, Prime Minister of Italy, and President Woodrow Wilson from the United States, have gathered. It's a stage dramatized by secret deals and political betrayal. The three European leaders have been making side deals the American President seems oblivious to as he presents his fourteen point plan for peace. To the French their highest priority is the emasculation of Germany, their longtime foe on the European continent. The English and Italians have seen the coming importance of oil to fuel their fleets and are anxious to carve up the Arab lands to get it. But so is Clemenceau, the puppet master, more concerned with short term gains than the disastrous shape of the legacy they will leave behind.
Dr. James Fraser, the country doctor, and his ally, Speed Cook, a black retired baseball player and boxer from Stewart's earlier novel, "The Lincoln Deception," provide the inner story around this moment in world history, though it's Joshua Cook, Speed's son who's at the center of it. The author shows through Joshua how poorly the segregated negro troops were treated by their white officers, and how those seconded off to the French fare much better. Caught in the gears of an officious general, Joshua brings his father and Dr. Fraser together again in an effort to save him from charges of treason. Dr. Fraser's presence in a Paris hospital helping the war effort, finds him immersed in a deepening influenza epidemic in the process of killing millions worldwide. His expertise in dealing with the disease and its complications bring him close to the President Wilson, where he witnesses important historic moments, while Joshua, through the machinations of (John) Foster Dulles and his brother Allen place him at the President's side as an aide. These two wily Dulles brothers are characters out of history who will become respectively, Secretary of State and director of the CIA in their extraordinary careers. Here in 1919, they are shown in their early years of shadowy intelligence.
Mr. Stewart brings these characters plus Jamie's wife and daughter through an intricate mix of events to the crux of the puzzle, and tragedy, played out in the Treaty of Versailles. It's a highly enjoyable read that imagines, where necessary, the motivations and character attributes that brings life and understanding to the confused and cross purposes of the time, and demonstrates how the human emotions of those in power can accidentally or purposely shape effects that take place nearly a century later. I recommend it as my favorite David O. Stewart book to date.
I am headed for the Lincoln story now -- Stewart provides interesting angles from which to view history.