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The Hour of Peril

The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War

by Daniel Stashower

The Hour of Peril by Daniel Stashower X
The Hour of Peril by Daniel Stashower
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There are currently 23 member reviews
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  • Annette S. (Duluth, GA)
    The Hour of Peril
    A well researched and very detailed account of a conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln when he was on his way to his first inauguration as the sixteenth president of the United States. Even though the reader knows this plot failed, you learn about Alan Pinkerton's life and how he started his famous Pinkerton Detective Agency, Kate Warne (probably the first female professional undercover detective), and the intriguing plot twists that unfold in this criminal conspiracy to murder Lincoln. The book brings to mind the question: If Lincoln had been killed in Baltimore would the Civil War have started here instead of Charleston, S.C.? Also, you learn of the lingering hostility many Southerners had to the election of Lincoln. If you read The Hour of Peril as history you will be rewarded, but if you want a super thriller you will find some elements of that, but not enough to satisfy your need.
  • Elizabeth W. (Van Buren, AR)
    The Hour of Peril
    An interesting history of the Pinkerton agency, but rather slow and clumsy to read.
  • Karen J. (Bremerton, WA)
    The Hour of Peril tells about Alan Pinkerton, his detective agency and the discovered plot to assassinate Lincoln in Baltimore on his way to his inauguration. It is history told in story form so reads like a novel and not like a history book.
    However, I found it disappointing. It's being promoted as a race against the clock thriller and although eminently readable I found it neither gripping nor riveting which is what I was expecting, but rather slow going and had to push my way through it. Interestingly, I found those sections about Lincoln the most fascinating; less so the parts about Alan Pinkerton and the plot.
  • Cheryl K. (East Aurora, NY)
    The Hour of Peril
    Admittedly, when beginning The Hour of Peril, I had just completed the Assassination of Lincoln, as well as seeing Lincoln (the movie). Anxious to learn of the thwarted attempt on Lincoln's life in 1861, I slowly made my way through this book. Although I can appreciate the extensive research by Daniel Stashower, I often felt I was reading a textbook. Pinkerton was definitely more of a presence than Lincoln, and his story was very interesting. I feel this book would appeal more to avid history buffs, who enjoy explicit details of a period in American history that is not well-known. I did not find it a "race-against-the-clock thriller.
  • Susan C. (Maple Grove, MN)
    The Hour of Peril
    Slow at times, but full of interesting information about the participants - Pinkerton, Lincoln, the first female private detective and other prominent people of the time. Gives an idea of the mood of the country - how some citizens of the US felt about Lincoln, possible war, slavery.

    A book more suited for those interested in history than for thriller fans.
  • Eloise F. (Poway, CA)
    Not quite spellbinding
    This is a great history book. I love reading about this era and it didn't disappoint as a discussion from a new angle and new participants in history. But: it was billed as 'spellbinding historical narrative.' It was instead a history, slow and cumbersome to read. Not what I expected to review but always a good thing to expand my horizons.
  • Joe S. (Port Orange, FL)
    Hour of Peril
    A very interesting and well researched book about an important time in our nations history . However, it is a real slow starter. The beginning of the book was, for me, difficult to read because of all the quotes but It soon smooths out and becomes much more interesting. I almost gave up on it but am glad that I didn't.


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