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The Lincoln Letter (Peter Fallon #5)

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  526 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Treasure hunters Peter Fallon and Evangeline Carrington are heading for adventure in Washington D.C., the sleek, modern, power-hungry capital of America...and the crowded, muddy, intrigue-filled nexus of the Civil War. Their prize? A document of incredible historical importance and incalculable value: Abraham Lincoln’s diary.

What if Lincolnrecorded his innermost thoughtsa...more
Paperback, 595 pages
Published July 2nd 2013 by Forge Books (first published August 21st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,089)
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Chuck
I will admit that my favorite literary genre is historical fiction so I find this one describing an attachment to an e-mail received by a modern day antiquities collector and expert as a letter written by Abraham Lincoln on the last day of his life. The letter suggests that somewhere out there is Abe's missing diary and the hunt is on. The story line is intriguing but the author's style leaves
something to be desired. He introduces a cast of thousands but doesn't flesh them out very well and I ha...more
Suspense Magazine
William Martin, the bestselling author of “The Lost Constitution” is back with his latest book “The Lincoln Letter.” William brings us back to Civil War America leading us to ask the question, did Abraham Lincoln have a diary, one that could hold secrets that he never meant to let out? If this diary existed, what if it fell into the wrong hands, would his legacy and the legacy of the Civil War be changed forever? Every President in history has taken secrets of his Presidency to the grave, and Li...more
Diane Sundstrom
The Lincoln Letter opens with a glimpse of a letter written by Abraham Lincoln on the last day of his life. The letter alludes to a lost diary belonging to Lincoln and sets the stage for the historical suspense that William Martin writes better than anyone, a novel winding around the irresistible theme of a treasure hunt—this time in Washington, D.C.—and complete with hidden compartments, shootouts, and bodies floating in the Potomac.

Martin sets the action in two time periods, one during the Li...more
Allison Long
I began reading this book to write a review for the local paper. The premise was interesting. President Lincoln kept a diary and, in the midst of the Civil War, it went missing. Now, in present day, Peter Fallon and his lady love Evangeline, are trying to find it, but intrigue and danger follow. The story is told in present day and flashes back from 1861-65. The historic fiction was enjoyable, but the present day... Look, imagine Nic Cage in National Treasure. Imagine Nic wants to be Indiana Jon...more
Linda
The Lincoln Letter is the tenth and latest William Martin’s series of historical novels, several of which feature antiquarian book dealer Peter Fallon. Now Fallon is back and hot on the trail of a heretofore unknown letter written by Abraham Lincoln on the last day of his life. The letter is brief, addressed to former War Department decoder Hawley Hutchinson , and seems to refer to a diary that Lincoln lost earlier in the Civil War. Fallon heads to Washington DC, only to discover that he is not...more
Kathy
This book is a historical mystery per excellence. The author has managed to capture the times and life of the Lincoln era while infusing it with modern day intrigue and mystery. Treasure hunters Peter Fallon and Evangeline Carrington take off after a lost diary/journal Abraham Lincoln supposedly wrote in 1862—a document revealing his very thought on slavery and the course of our country. To add to the intrigue, this is an election cycle, and the diary/journal may have implications for that and p...more
Janellyn51
I've read a lot of William Martin's books and this is now in my top two....I loved this book. I've really enjoyed all of the Peter and Evangeline books and I was so excited that I'd be going on a new adventure with them. The story, the history of it is more than compelling. William Martin writes in the beginning that he wants to you to be able to feel and smell and just get what Washington was all about during the Civil war and he more than accomplishes that I think. I cried in the end...I'm sit...more
Thomas Tyrer
"Lincoln Letter" is told through simultaneous action in both the Civil War and modern eras. Unfortunately, the modern characters and setting cannot keep pace with those events and personalities surrounding the Lincoln White House. Much of the historical representation is interesting, and some characters have interesting color and interwoven back stories, but the action is less than breakneck and modern characters are more often disappointing caricatures. For any true fan of historical thrillers,...more
WordPerv
Overall, I enjoyed this read though I must admit, the historical portion of the novel was far more engaging and believable than the modern day story. The historical part is intriguing and you wonder with every page turn just what will happen next. It is captivating and makes you want to keep reading. The modern story however has elements that are a little far fetched. For example, Peter out-maneuvers two men who are professional security/body guards...a little unlikely. Plus there are a few char...more
Linda
With his usual flair for suspense and careful plotting, William Martin, tells a fascinating story of Halsey Hutchinson, an aspiring lawyer and enlisted Civil War soldier. Meanwhile, in the present day, Peter Fallon and his sidekick, Evangeline Carrington, spend an exciting weekend in Washington DC on the trail of lost documents authored by the sixteenth president as he wrestled with his decision to emancipate the slaves.
Jim C
This novel is the fifth one of a series. They all can be read as a stand alone novel. In this one, Peter Fallon learns of the possibility that Abraham Lincoln's personal diary is out there and Peter is determined to find it.

When reading a Peter Fallon book it feels like the reader is reading two books. There is the historical fiction part with actual people from history. This part describes the object and its journey to its present resting place. The other part of the book is the present with Pe...more
Brad
Quit about 1/3 of the way through. I was expecting a present day mystery involving a lost Lincoln letter. And the few pages devoted to that was good. Problem was, it also took place in 1862 and that part, which consisted of the majority i had read, was mind numbingly boring
Kathy
This was an excellent story that carried me right along from the first page. I love Peter Fallon's character, and Lincoln's story is told from yet another point of view. Very interesting and fun. I loved it.
Doug Clark
The Lincoln Letter (published in 2012) is William Martin’s fifth novel in his series about Peter Fallon and Evangeline Carrington. This is a wonderful series of historical thrillers involving a current day search for interesting odd artifacts of American history. The stories are told on two levels. The first is the actual search and the subsequent dangers and complications involved in Fallon and Carrington’s quest to find the artifacts. These dangers involve second, or even third, parties who se...more
Marybeth
First saw this at Goodreads when I entered to win a copy. I didn't. Two weeks ago I saw it at the bookstore at Gettysburg. I thumbed through it. I've never read any William Martin, was worried about the jumping back and forth from the 1860s to today, but still I bought the book.

And I'm glad I did.

The jumps were not remotely bothersome except when one timeline was about to get interesting and then it would switch. Martin described the other timeline with great detail and, while I'm not a histori...more
Randy Christopher
I really enjoyed this book a lot. William Martin is a tremendous author of books with historical context. His style is to write two stories in one essentially. The first story is about an old artifact of some sort. This historical artifact or document fuels the story from the start and the reader must learn about the origins of this thing. It follows the artifact throughout its entire history up until the very present. The second story is about the people in the present trying to follow the hist...more
Brett Boerner
I received a free advance copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads.

This was my first William Martin book, and by default, my first Peter Fallon story. For someone coming new to the series, I realized there would be certain things that wouldn't make sense to me. However, there were relatively few moments where I felt like an "outsider" and didn't get what was going on between the characters. It was good to be able to jump into the series and follow along with the action.

This is probably so...more
Dixie
I rate most things pretty high. I love reading and am very appreciative of authors who feed my habit. I don't always like everything about every book, but usually I get enough out of the experience of reading it to give the book high points. I also don't feel the need to tell an author how their book 'should have been written' something. It's their book and I am just delighted that I get to read it. I can dislike or disagree, but I can't change what the author has written, and I wouldn't want to...more
Tom
Aug 28, 2012 Tom rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction lovers
We read to be entertained or to be informed. Once again, Mr. Martin has excelled in blending both purposes. Through his words, I felt as if I were transversing the mud-clogged streets of Washington DC during the Civil War years. Mr. Martin has the ability to not only educate us about American History, but to make us feel as if we are physically present to observe history. From the War Department building to the Smithsonian and Ford's Theater, I not only read, but felt that I was there.

The discov...more
Sandy
I started reading The Lincoln Letter in part because I had invited William Martin to come speak at our public library and I had never read anything he'd written. Since The Lincoln Letter is his latest book I thought it was a good place to start.

I have always been particularly interested in the Civil War period of US History, ever since reading Gone With the Wind as a child -- the social mores and class system of the old south has always fascinated me. So reading about Washington, DC during the C...more
Jonathan Tomes
The Lincoln Letter by William Martin is a must-read for civil war historical buffs. The protagonists, Peter Fallon, a rare book dealer, and Evangeline Carrington, a non-tenured professor, are searching for the letter that may lead them to Lincoln’s diary, which would not only be priceless but also would have enormous historical value. The novel goes back and forth from the wounded lieutenant who got the diary from Lincoln himself and became the subject of a manhunt from anti-Lincoln and anti-ema...more
K.D. McAdams
I enjoy the storytelling approach of linking an historical story line with a modern story line, William Martin is amazing at it. For me this book started slowly for the historical story and quickly for the modern story. Then about midway through they swapped places and the modern story slowed down when I was getting into the historical. I found myself annoyed with Henry who I know was in other books but seemed to be more prevalent in this one. I would recommend this book, but it's probably not a...more
Robert
I'm not done reading this book yet, but it certainly is a book that I going to do give great accolades to. It is one of a long line of books that William Martin has written so meticulously. I can't wait to give you my full report when I'm done. This was a good combo of mystery and history. I learned a lot about Lincoln, The Civil War, The value of rare documents, and the mystery genre. Was a good, fast read.
Linda
A letter written by Abraham Lincoln the day before he was assassinated alludes to a lost diary. When the letter is discovered 150 years later, Peter Fallon, who collects historic documents, tries to buy the letter and then to find the diary. Alternate chapters tell the story of Lieutenant Halsey Hutchinson, who worked in the War Department telegraph office during the Civil War and his attempts to return the diary to Lincoln, after it had been misplaced there. I enjoyed the Halsey Hutchinson/Civ...more
Bob Sipes
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The time period is one of my favorite and I appreciate how the author brings it to life with simple things like the Washington Canal, the Adams pocket revolver, the boot black, the "hole man" cleaning privy holes, Julia Ward Howe's "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", Whitman's poem "O Captain! My Captain", the Harper's engraving of Frederick Douglass, etc. The small details bring the period to life, Lincoln engages in personal dialogue with the protagonist, Walt Wh...more
Du
Liked it, but not as much as the previous entries. I think part of the usual draw is the multiple eras portrayed. Here there was really just one, other than the present. I'm also not a huge fan of the overly sexy and thug like elements that have been introduced in this and to some degree the last book. Glad to be all caught up on the series, but also not worried about when the next one will come out.
Yeny
The void I felt after finishing The Second Empress was completely gone when I was reading The Lincoln Letter. There are 2 story lines going on at the same time and the plot was weaving back and forth between the past and present. The main focus is Lincoln’s diary and we saw people fighting over it back then and now. This is the irony – time passes and names change; but, in Washington D.C., the power struggle has always been the same. William Martin vividly portrayed the city and its people durin...more
Loriinengland
I really enjoyed the historical aspects of this story. The present day story with it's numerous characters was hard for me to follow. Perhaps it was that so little time was spent in the present day. This was the 4th book in a series...
So perhaps if I would have read the first 3 I would have understood the present day characters better and found that aspect of the story more enjoyable.
Steve
Ending up abandoning around page 300. Could not become engaged with the Peter Fallon portion of the plot -- felt very contrived. Martin did a much better job with the historical Halsey character, but it the end it wasn't enough to reward him with what I saw was a waste of time to finish the last 130 pages.
Dale Young
Fantastic! This is of those novels where you have to pay close attention to the characters and what is going on or you'll get lost. The story flips between the 1860's and the present day and was very interesting. I read this on the beach during vacation last summer and could hardly put it down.
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William Martin is a New York Times bestselling author of nine novels. He is best known for his historical fiction, which has chronicled the lives of the great and the anonymous in American history while bringing to life legendary American locations, from Cape Cod to Annapolis. He has also written an award-winning PBS documentary, one of the cheesiest horror movies ever made, magazine articles, and...more
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Back Bay (Peter Fallon, #1) Cape Cod Harvard Yard (Peter Fallon, #2) The Lost Constitution (Peter Fallon, #3) Annapolis

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