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Download Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincolns Corpse Audiobook, by James L. Swanson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.76 out of 53.76 out of 53.76 out of 53.76 out of 53.76 out of 5 3.76 (29 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James L. Swanson Narrator: Richard Thomas Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9780061988608
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On the morning of April 2, 1865, Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, received a telegram from General Robert E. Lee. There is no more time—the Yankees are coming, it warned. Shortly before midnight, Davis fled the capital, setting off an intense and thrilling chase in which Union cavalry hunted the Confederate president.

Two weeks later, President Lincoln was assassinated, and the nation was convinced that Davis was involved in the conspiracy that led to the crime. To the Union, Davis was no longer merely a traitor. He became a murderer, a wanted man with a one-hundred-thousand-dollar bounty on his head. Davis was hunted down and placed in captivity, the beginning of an intense and dramatic odyssey that would transform him into a martyr of the South's Lost Cause. Meanwhile, Lincoln's final journey began when soldiers placed his corpse aboard a special train that would carry the fallen president through the largest and most magnificent funeral pageant in American history.

The saga that began with Manhunt continues with the suspenseful and electrifying Bloody Crimes. James Swanson masterfully weaves together the stories of two fallen leaders as they made their last expeditions through the bloody landscape of a wounded nation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A haunting masterpiece. James Swanson has written a thrilling book of death and longing, of defeat and resurrection.”

    Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “James Swanson is a giant. With his instant classic Manhunt, and its triumphant follow up Bloody Crimes, Swanson proves beyond all doubt that he is a master of historical true-crime epic…Bloody Crimes is irresistibly captivating. I highly recommend it.”

    Vincent Bugliosi, New York Times bestselling author

  • “With the publication of Bloody Crimes, James L. Swanson emerges as one of America’s greatest historians. Swanson recounts the closing drama of the Civil War with hair-raising precision and the vivid narrative drive of a top-tier novelist. A grand tour de force!”

    Douglas Brinkley, New York Times bestselling author

  • “James Swanson has done it again. Bloody Crimes is a moving, evocative trip back in time to the tumultuous spring of 1865. Swanson’s meticulous research and sparkling prose make it an essential companion to his award winning bestseller, Manhunt.”

    Michael Burlingame, author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2010
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A Wall Street Journal Bestseller
  • A Washington Post Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Price | 1/20/2014

    " Well written and enjoyable book. I recommend this one to those who enjoy reading about our civil war. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 1/12/2014

    " I loved Swanson's previous title, Manhunt. Bloody Crimes is well-written and a very interesting look at Lincoln's death and subsequent funeral and transport back to Illinois. It also alternates the story by tracking the flight of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. The stories are interesting and included a fair amount of information I had not read before. Bloody Crimes lacks the intensity and drama of Manhunt, but Swanson still is a very good storyteller. I recommend it for history buffs, Civil War in particular. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jacqueline | 1/9/2014

    " An enthralling audio book that tells the stories of Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln with style and grace. I gained a lot more respect for Davis then I had before and learned a few things about Lincoln I didn't know. It made me want to go back and listen to Manhunt to fill in the gaps of the story only hinted at here. Richard Thomas did a decent job as the narrator though it was a very dry reading of the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Spence | 1/9/2014

    " So I loved the first book by Mr Swanson so I was so excited for this one. It was very slow and the content just wasn't very interesting to me. I was good to know a little more about Jefferson Davis but outside of that nothing to great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joel Baumgart | 1/1/2014

    " James L. Swanson knocked it out of the park again! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel Ellerbrock | 12/31/2013

    " I am so glad I am done with this book. I picked it up for a history book review thinking it would be interesting. It was, to a point. I can only read so much about Lincoln's funeral train. He wasn't even alive for it, and it was all the same. The only reason I gave it two stars was because the half about Jefferson Davis was intriguing. He's a Civil War figure you never hear much about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cassondra Windwalker | 12/21/2013

    " A poignant and heartbreaking recounting of the final ends of two of America's greatest leaders. This book is a fast read, in spite of its scholasticism. I strongly recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 12/21/2013

    " Yes, I know that I have been reading a lot of books about dead Presidents lately, but I couldn't resist this one when I saw it in the library. This book is a juxtaposition of two stories. The first is an account of the final two weeks of Abraham Lincoln's presidency, his assassination, and the 20 days from his death until his burial in Springfield, Illinois. The second is the tale of the chase for the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, from when he fled Richmond on April 2, 1865 until his capture in Georgia the next month. These stories are told in parallel lines and the chapters jump back and forth between the account of the Lincoln funeral train and the hunt for Jefferson Davis. As Lincoln's train headed north making numerous stops along the way where his casket was paraded through city after city and opened at each stop so that a grieving nation could pay honor to his rapidly deterioring embalmed corpse, Jefferson Davis headed south trying to evade Union troops who were searching for him and trying to escape across the Mississippi River, to Cuba, or to Mexico. An interesting account of the end of the Civil War and the elevation of two men. Lincoln, because of his assassination became a secular saint, and Jefferson Davis, imprisoned for two years and then released on parole to prevent him from becoming a martyr became the living symbol of the South's lost cause. Rich in detail, this book captures the mood of the country, in both the north and the south, at the end of the long and bloody Civil War. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phyllis O | 12/10/2013

    " Swanson seamlessly weaves the intertwined search for Jeff Davis and the public mourning of Lincoln in his second book. Well worth the read for no other reason than its thoughtful depiction of Jeff Davis as equally devoted to his political beliefs as Lincoln was. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 11/30/2013

    " A bit of a slog, actually. I enjoyed Manhunt, though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristin Royer | 11/5/2013

    " I feel smarter for having read Bloody Crimes, but it was a slog at times. I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone who wasn't keenly interested in Civil War history, and even then I would steer them to Swanson's Manhunt first. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Larry | 8/11/2013

    " A perfect follow up to a great book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracey Renzi | 1/20/2013

    " Excellent insight into Lincoln's funeral procession throughout the Union and the hunt for Davis. This book delves into many areas that are not discussed with the "weekend" Civil War buff. I highly recommend this book and author "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 12/6/2012

    " A unique look at the two men who defined our nation during the Civil War, their deaths and legends and interesting look at how we view both of these men today. The conversational and narrative style of the writer made this book easy to read and at times hard to put down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb | 8/22/2012

    " Good detail...I liked Manhunt better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheila | 5/5/2012

    " This was not quite as good as his earlier book, Manhunt, but still interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 George | 4/10/2012

    " This book seems like a compendium of previous books written by the author. I've not read its predecessors, and enjoyed this one, it covered the two presidents who existed during the Spring of 1865. I learned a little about the subject. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dad | 4/3/2012

    " A lot of info I wasn't aware of, especially the bio data on Jefferson Davis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keith | 9/1/2011

    " Very informative. Occasionally Blah-boring. Varina Davis! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zazzu | 6/26/2011

    " Kind of an odd book, rather like two books crammed into one. The two topics are pretty interesting and I was amazed by the heights of mourning that were held for Lincoln. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tori | 4/30/2011

    " Fascinating reading for history lovers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 3/18/2011

    " I liked the book by the author concerning the chase of Booth a lot more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 3/18/2011

    " Swanson makes history sexy. Period. I know what you are thinking: "Really, Nicci? Parallel journeys of Davis and Lincoln being entertaining AND informative? You have lost your marbles." But really I tell you--Swanson makes history sexy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bernadette | 3/15/2011

    " Fascinating followup to Swanson's Manhunt. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 2/28/2011

    " I can't think of a book that is better researched. I thought it was fascinating to learn of the journey of Abraham Lincoln's corpse on its way to its final resting place. I learned alot about the confederate states and Jefferson Davis, as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phyllis | 2/27/2011

    " Swanson seamlessly weaves the intertwined search for Jeff Davis and the public mourning of Lincoln in his second book. Well worth the read for no other reason than its thoughtful depiction of Jeff Davis as equally devoted to his political beliefs as Lincoln was. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brendan | 2/20/2011

    " Full of interesting details but the events are never particularly gripping or moving.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 2/15/2011

    " Fascinating detail about Abe and Jeff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Francha | 2/10/2011

    " Fascinating. Especially the part about how Lincoln went from a man to a saint overnight. "

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About the Author
Author James L. Swanson

James L. Swanson is the Edgar Award–winning author of the New York Times bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer. His other books include the acclaimed photographic history Lincoln’s Assassins: Their Trial and Execution, as well as Chasing Lincoln’s Killer, and adaptations of Manhunt and Bloody Crimes for young readers. Swanson was born on Lincoln’s birthday.

About the Narrator

Richard Thomas, a film and television actor, is best known for his role as John-Boy Walton on the CBS television series, The Waltons. His performance earned him a Primetime Emmy, as well as two Golden Globe nominations. Also an audiobook narrator, he has read numerous books, including John Grisham’s Theodore Boone series.