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Ron CharlesHave you ever cut yourself on a piece of glass without realizing it? Just like that, Smolens slides through gruesome episodes in such muted, unadorned prose that you barely realize what's happened until you see the blood. The genius of this novel is the tension he creates by moving quickly from quiet, moving scenes in the president's sickroom or Czolgosz's prison cell to raw, startling flashes of violence during the criminal investigation…It's an enthralling descent into the dark byways of the criminal mind and the vast system of canals that ran through Buffalo. Here is the crime that launched the 20th century, the unlikely imprint of a lonely man's delusion on the soft metal of the world.
—The Washington Post