Book Review: The Thackery Journal – John Holt

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 recovering consciousness. Was Booth a lone assassin? Or was he part of a wider conspiracy? What if Booth had merely been a willing party to a plot to replace Lincoln with General Ulysses S. Grant.
Let us suppose that Booth had been set up by a group of men, a group of Lincoln’s own Army Generals; Generals who wanted Ulysees S. Grant for their President, and not Lincoln. And let us also suppose that the funding for the assassination came from gold stolen by the Confederate Army.


This was not the sort of book I usually go for, but after reading one of John’s books featuring his private detective Tom Kendall called Epidemic, I liked not just the story, but his style of writing so I decided to give this a go, because one of the reasons I got my kindle was to explore a wider range of stories, rather than the small set of what I would usually go for. I’m very please I did, because this is a gem of a book. Exceptionally well written and paced.

This is set around the American civil war and is a ‘what if’ novel surrounding Lincoln’s assassination. The story follows two ordinary men, who got caught up in the civil war, although friends, they find themselves on opposing sides and are embroilled in the assassination attempt against Lincoln. The use of Jacob Thackery’s journal gives an added edge to the story.

I also enjoyed the use of images within the story, this is the first kindle book I have used that included images and they worked well in this book.

The characters including in this story were engaging and I think John should be proud of himself with a job well done. To write in a genre that is not what you are used to is always hard, but John has made this seem effortless.

This story held my interest as much as his private detective stories, which are closer to what I would normally read.

I would recommend this book to others and encourage those who say ‘it’s not my usual read’ to give it a go, they won’t be disappointed.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Thackery Journal – John Holt

  1. John Holt says:

    Hi Caroline, thank you so much for featuring “The Thackery Journal”. I am very proud of this book. It took me several years to get it finished. I’m glad to say that I have had a lot of good comments. The price has been changed though. It is currently £1-99 on

    1. Caroline Lee says:

      Thanks for that John. I have removed a mention of price from my review and just kept the link to Amazon, that way my review is never out of date 😉

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