Sunday, January 12, 2014

Book Review Blog Tour: The Thackery Journal by John Holt

The Thackery Journal
By John Holt
Publisher: Phoenix
Published: Nov. 7, 2013

Amazon Synopsis:

On the night of April 14th 1865 President Abraham Lincoln attended a performance at The Ford Theatre, in Washington. A single shot fired by John Wilkes Booth hit the President in the back of the head. He slumped to the floor, and died a few hours later without regaining consciousness. Was Booth a lone assassin? Or was he part of a wider conspiracy? A plot
 hatched by his own generals to replace Lincoln with General Ulysses S. Grant.

Book Links

My Thoughts:

This was an interesting look at a possible scenario for the events leading up to the Lincoln assassination at the end of the Civil War. Though the event was based in history, the story itself is fiction.

There were several photos and drawings included in the story, but if you read the notes at the beginning of the book, the individuals that the people to whom the photos are attributed are not actually the individuals that are actually in the photos, nor is the photo of the Journal actually of Jacob Thackery’s journal. I liked the addition of the photos and drawings in the novel as they lent an air of authenticity to the story.

The story starts with Jacob’s father reading the journal of his son Jacob who enlisted as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. The war is over and all Aaron Thackery has left is the journal that Jacob kept during the four years of the war. He reads this journal over and over and remembers.

As I do not know much about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, other than that he was supposedly shot by John Wilkes Booth at a theatre, I am unable to comment on how this story and how it happened differs or supports what is known about the actual event in history. Nor am I aware of the emotional and political feelings of the times. However, I am aware that this was a brutal and bloody war, and I do believe that that the events in this novel are plausible, and intriguing.

Also unique in the Kindle version of this book were the links provided in the book to a number of different items that took the reader to additional information on that particular topic. The links took you to pictures or locations on the internet with more information. This was a useful feature when coming across items where one might want additional information. I really liked this feature.

I found this story had somewhat of an ebb and flow to it where in some parts it was quite engaging and other parts dragged somewhat. Overall, I thought the story was plausible and I found the situation between Jacob Thackery and his friend Miles Drew to be somewhat sad and ironic. The novel does reflect the sad situations that we are sometimes left in after tragic circumstances such as war.

John Holt has written this book with clear language and intent. The characters were fairly well developed and the drama surrounding the last few lines written in Jacob Thackery’s journal could be felt. I gave this novel four stars out of five.

Thank you to the publisher and John Holt for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

     I was born in 1943 in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. I currently live in Essex with my wife, Margaret, and my daughter Elizabeth. And not forgetting Missy, the cat who adopted us, and considered that we were worthy enough to live with her. For many years I was a Chartered Surveyor in local government. I was a Senior Project Manager with the Greater London Council from 1971 until it was closed down in 1986. I then set up my own surveying practice, retiring in 2008.
     I suppose like many others I had always thought how good it would be to write a novel, but I could never think of a good enough plot. My first novel, “The Kammersee Affair”, published in 2006, was inspired by a holiday in the Austrian lake district. We were staying in Grundlsee. The next lake, Toplitzsee, was used by the German Navy during the war to test rockets, and torpedoes. As the war came to an end many items were hidden in the lake – millions of UK pounds, and US dollars, in counterfeit currency; jewellery stolen from the holocaust victims; and weapons. There were also rumours of gold bullion being hidden in that lake. Despite extensive searches the gold was never found. In my book, however, it is found, only in the next lake, Kammersee.
     The books that followed, The Mackenzie File, The Marinski Affair, and Epidemic, all feature Tom Kendall, a down to earth private detective, and were originally published by Raider Publishing in New York. My fifth book, A Killing In The City, another featuring Tom Kendall, was originally published by Night Publishing. In August 2012 I decided to go down the self published route, and formed my own publishing brand PHOENIX. All five novels have now been published on PHOENIX. A sixth novel “The Thackery Journal” was published on 8 August 2013.
     I am currently working on two other novels featuring Tom Kendall, and I have made a tentative start on an Adventure novel.

Contact the Author
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This giveaway is international 

For a chance to win one of three e-books by John Holt (winners choice) and one paperback by John Holt (winners choice)

The winner will be announced at the end of the tour.

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