cover image Assassin of Shadows

Assassin of Shadows

Lawrence Goldstone. Pegasus Crime, $25.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-64313-130-6

What if President McKinley’s assassination in 1901 was not just the work of a lone nut? That’s the premise of this outstanding thriller from Goldstone (The Anatomy of Deception). After anarchist Leon Czolgosz manages to get close enough to McKinley at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y., to shoot him, Secret Service agents Walter George and Harry Swayne are dispatched to that city to investigate. Their boss, John Wilkie, and power broker Mark Hanna are convinced there’s a conspiracy. But McKinley, who initially survives the shooting, insists that the agents not railroad anyone and pursue the truth, which could lead to Czolgosz’s political allies, who include Emma Goldman. The dogged George and Swayne begin to wonder if the attack was aided from the inside, given that the agents protecting McKinley weren’t suspicious of the assassin’s bandaged hand, which concealed his weapon. As McKinley’s condition worsens, George and Swayne come under surveillance—and under fire. Goldstone combines an intriguing theory of the crime with a jaw-dropping ending. This is his best novel yet. [em]Agent: Michael Carlisle, InkWell Management. (June) [/em]