The Assassin's Accomplice rips the shroud of injured innocence and mindless manipulated female from the first woman ever hung in the United States, Mary Surratt.
Often portrayed as a matronly widow enamored of the sophisticated and famous John Wilkes Booth, or as a kindly little lady who was caught in the shenanigans of her son and his friends, Mary Surratt has gone down in history as a woman unfairly subjected to the frenzy for justice after the murder of President Lincoln.
Larsonís expertly researched, verified and written book reveal a woman who in fact was an ardent Southern sympathizer who shared some of the vitriolic hatred that Booth had for the man who was arguably the finest United States President ever.
With in-depth examination and concise precision, the author makes it clear that the innocent Mrs. Surratt did deserve to swing from the gallows. At the time of her trial, public opinion agreed she should pay the ultimate price for her complicity in the crime of that century. After her death, however, the fickle public changed their minds largely (if not solely) because she was a woman.
Since then, speculation has careened back and forth on the subject. Larsonís The Assassin's Accomplice should serve as the definitive conclusion on Surrattís guilt. It is replete with historical detail and yet reads as smoothly as if it were a novel. Although readers will probably wish it were a novel, they will recognize it for what it is: an indispensable account of one of the darkest times in American history.