[Charlotte M. Liebel Review]
This is a fast-moving, mesmerizing story because of the author’s elaborate and inferred attempts to support numerous theories. LINCOLN’S DIARY by D.L. Fowler presents hidden characteristics for President Abraham Lincoln, intrigue, murder, politics and California travel on California city streets. Who are the women who knew of Lincoln’s Diary? Who are the men who killed for the Diary yet they had never seen it? Where is the Diary hidden?
On May 7, 1893, in Martinsburg, West Virginia, Colonel Lamon who was President Lincoln’s friend and bodyguard lay dying firmly grasping Lincoln’s private diary. Lincoln had sent Lamon on a mission prior to his assassination on April 14, 1865. The news devastates the Colonel so he keeps his diary upon his death rather than destroy it. What secrets did Lincoln record? Did he suspect international players? Did Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] cause his death?
Events, on an October day of 2010, take a turn for Sarah Sue Morgan when her mom dies. Grandma Cassie Morgan leaves her home to daughter Jennifer Morgan and, for a while, Sarah lives with her mom – but that is a hassle. College life gives her a reason to leave home. Mystery surrounds the lives of the Morgan women as none married. Finally, Sarah climbs the stairs to the forbidden attic to get some answers about her family. She is not disappointed.
Sarah reads Grandma Cassie’s journal and she tearfully learns about Grandpa Lake who died and sent a package supporting their talks about President Lincoln. Sarah mourns for her lost childhood and, upon closing the yellowing pages of her journal, finds a crisp laserjet paper.
Time to make a move. Evidence mounts. Lincoln’s diary had probably made it to Grandma Cassie’s and Sarah’s mom had sold an unidentified document for $10,000. Grandma Cassie’s journal provided names. Sarah must find the agent for the collector. She goes online and finds phone numbers for the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA. More contacts appear at the University of Redlands. She calls Dr. Burgess, curator at the Lincoln Shrine, Redlands. Jackson Andrews, a rare books dealer gives her Dr. Thomas Moran’s location.
On the plane, Sarah reads print-outs of Dr. Moran. Then, upon landing, picks up a rental car, heads to her motel, and experiences the California freeways referred to as ‘amateur NASCAR tracks.’
Next morning, Sarah is up early and delights at the crisp air with no freeway smog. A blue eyed bronze faced research assistant named Elliot sits at a desk in the mini-office of Dr.Thomas Moran who is on leave. Sarah persuades Elliot that she needs to meet him and deliver a Lincoln poem in her possession. He looks over the poem and agrees. The appointment is set and he gives her Moran’s address and phone number.
Sarah drives to the Lincoln Shrine but it is closed. Next she checks out the route to Dr. Moran’s home on GPS. Just as she finds the narrow driveway, a car speeds out. Sarah assumes it’s the Professor. Curiosity consumes her and she hurriedly parks and walks to the house. Her attempts to break-in fail but she looks through the glass of the French doors to find Dr. Moran’s home office in disarray.
Sarah breaks for lunch and returns for her appointment. She finds Dr. Moran’s home humming with police cars. Yellow crime scene tape is in place and Detective Glen Hetherington, Homicide Detail approaches her. Sarah explains that her quest had to do with Lincoln documents and a check delivered to her mother. She had an appointment and came by earlier. She mentioned a car speeding out the drive. Prior to excusing Sarah, Detective Hetherington relates a story about his retired uncle, “…a homicide cop in Pasadena.” He finds a connection in both cases.
Later, Sarah is considered a suspect for the murder of Moran, and Federal Agents want her journal and Lincoln’s Diary. She meets hooded railroad (RR) Barons, and exchanges cell phone messages with unknowns. Her motel is raided, she gets threatening calls and runs for her life is in danger. Sarah is savvy about PayPal, uses it for money transfers. And pre-paid cell phones are handy. She even makes new friendships with strangers. Watch for several more surprises from the middle and towards the end of the book. Of course, there are several murders to solve and a Diary to find.
The novel ‘LINCOLN’S DIARY’ by D.L. Fowler is a page-turner, an amazing mystery, excellent details, suitable for college, politics, history buffs, mystery and intrigue lovers. The book and ebook are available at all booksellers.