The Sixth Conspirator: A Novel

Permuted Press
Free sample

“From its brilliant and devastating opening scene to its surprising and breakneck conclusion, The Sixth Conspirator takes the last tendril of the Lincoln assassination and weaves it into a compelling, erudite, witty, and wise novel that should secure Max Byrd's place among the premier writers of historical fiction working today. Not to be missed!” —John Lescroart, bestselling author of The Thirteenth Juror and BetrayalThe assassination of Abraham Lincoln set off a hysterical burst of international conspiracy theories, with all eyes turning first to Canada—once a hotbed of Confederate plots—and then, as evidence mounted, to the Catholic Church and Rome.

Now from bestselling author, Max Byrd, comes a long forgotten true story: a confidential mission to track down and capture any Europeans (and fugitive Confederates) who may have aided John Wilkes Booth.

Drawn from State Department archives and personal letters and diaries, The Sixth Conspirator recounts the dramatic journey of George H. Sharpe, General Ulysses S. Grant’s real-life spymaster, to three European capitals. Three people travel with him—calculating banker Daniel Keach, Sharpe’s Civil War protegé Quintus Oakes, and former Pinkerton agent Maggie Lawton.  

One step ahead of them is a mysterious Confederate courier, Sarah Slater, known during the war as “the Veiled Lady,” who may or may not have been Booth’s lover. Behind Sharpe’s team, breathing grimly over their shoulders, are Secretary of State William Seward, brutally mutilated by the knife of one of Booth’s henchmen, and the perversely vengeful, guilt-ridden Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.

Along the way Byrd creates a panorama of wonderfully-realized characters, great and small, fictional and real. In deeply researched, fascinating historical detail, he carries us back to another reality—the far away mid-nineteenth century world from which our America slowly emerged. 

“Taking us through the hideaways and haunts of European capitals in the mid-nineteenth century, this intriguing historical mystery –the search for Lincoln’s “Sixth Conspirator” -- keeps us guessing right up to the last page.  As in his highly acclaimed novels, Jefferson, Jackson and Grant, Max Byrd tells the tale with witty and fast-paced writing that kept me turning pages--eager to know more about the “real” men and women of the era along with the fictional characters of his creation.”—Cokie Roberts, Emmy-winning political commentator and author of Capital Dames, The Civil War and the Women of Washington
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About the author

Max Byrd is the author of bestselling historical novels about Ulysses Grant, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson, and winner of the Shamus Award for his mystery novel California Thriller. Other widely reviewed novels include Shooting the Sun and The Paris Deadline. Byrd’s earlier novels, The Wall Street Journal says, “vaulted him into the first rank of American historical novelists.” The Sixth Conspirator is his finest book yet.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Permuted Press
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Published on
Aug 27, 2019
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Pages
307
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ISBN
9781682618790
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
Fiction / Political
Fiction / Thrillers / Political
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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As he did with Presidents Jackson and Grant in those magnificent novels, Max Byrd now reveals Thomas Jefferson as we’ve never seen before. Byrd transports us to 1784, as Jefferson, the newly appointed American ambassador to the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, arrives in Paris—a city adrift in intrigue, upheaval, and temptation that will challenge his principles, incite his passions, and change him forever.
 
Through the eyes of his impressionable young secretary, William Short, readers watch as the future president builds his dream of America with fellow patriots John Adams and Ben Franklin, while struggling between political ambition and an unexpected crisis of the heart with a woman who has the power to destroy him. Behind the face this complex Virginian shows the world, Thomas Jefferson is an enigmatic statesman who fights for individual liberty even as he keeps slaves, who champions free will even as he denies it to his daughters, and who holds men to the highest standards of honor—even as he embarks on a shadowy double life of his own.
 
“Max Byrd’s historical novels about the third and seventh presidents bring both men alive in ways that only a literary imagination can.”—George F. Will, The Washington Post
 
“Jefferson has the organic intimacy of a novel that has sprung full-blown from the imagination of its creator.”—The New York Times
 
“Superb . . . fascinating in the psychological insight it provides to one of the greatest Americans . . . a truly memorable book.”—W. Jackson Bate, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Samuel Johnson and John Keats
 
“Absolutely splendid historical fiction that resonates with international, provincial, and individual passion and drama.”—Booklist
 
“A real tour de force.”—San Francisco Chronicle
Max Byrd, the renowned author of Jackson and Jefferson, brings history to life in this stunning novel set in America’s Gilded Age. Grant is an unforgettable portrait of a colorful era—and the flawed, iron-willed, mysterious giant at its center.
 
Ulysses S. Grant pursued a tragic war to its very end. But his final battle starts in 1880, when he loses his race to become the first U.S. President to serve three terms, goes bankrupt, and begins a fight against cancer that will prove to be his greatest challenge. Through journalist Nicholas Trist, readers follow Grant’s journey—and along the way meet Grant’s sworn enemy Henry Adams and Adams’s doomed wife, Clover, the old soldiers Sherman and Sheridan, and the always clever, always scheming Mark Twain. Revealed here are not only the penetrating secrets of our eighteenth president, but the intimate power-brokering that led to the end of Grant’s career, setting the stage for a new era in American history—one defined by politics, not warfare.
 
“Serious, intricate . . . gripping . . . Byrd is an expert at linking the products of his own imagination with historical facts.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“With the license and gifts of a first-rate novelist, Max Byrd has managed in Grant to reveal the man far better than those who have tried before.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“A vibrant, stunning story of Grant’s last years, but best of all, a gripping tale of ‘the reborn nation on the other side of the war.’ ”—Civil War Book Review
 
“Splendid . . . nothing less than a visit with greatness.”—Associated Press
 
“Historical fiction doesn’t get any better than this.”—Booklist
In this sweeping, marvelously written novel, Max Byrd, the celebrated author of Jefferson and Grant, presents a superb portrait of Andrew Jackson, a President remembered for his strong will and tempestuous nature—and regarded as “the most dangerous man in America” by none other than Thomas Jefferson.
 
He became a legend during the War of 1812. He was a slave owner, land speculator, and Indian fighter. He stole another man’s wife, murdered men in duels, and ordered military executions. But Andrew Jackson was also an impassioned supporter of universal suffrage and an ardent believer in the will of the people. Here the story of our controversial seventh President is told from a variety of viewpoints, including that of a young writer named David Chase who discovers, on the eve of the presidential election, a secret that could change the future of the nation. Along the way, readers encounter such notable figures as John Quincy Adams, Aaron Burr, and Sam Houston, and bear witness to an America in transition—and a man as unpredictable as democracy itself.
 
“Max Byrd’s historical novels about the third and seventh presidents bring both men alive in ways that only a literary imagination can.”—George F. Will, The Washington Post
 
“With Jackson, [Max] Byrd has vaulted . . . into the front rank of American historical novelists.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Vivid and compelling . . . a convincing and intriguing portrait of Jackson as he might have been.”—The Plain Dealer
 
“Full of action, emotion, and insight, Max Byrd’s Jackson deserves to stand with the finest works of historical fiction.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Grounded in excellent, detailed historical research, Byrd paints a rich, multilayered portrait.”—Chicago Tribune
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