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Daniel StashowerEric Lerner, a successful screenwriter, has fleshed out the bones of this story into a gripping historical novel. He brings a cloak-and-dagger sensibility to episodes such as the "Baltimore Plot" to assassinate President-elect Lincoln as he traveled to Washington for his inauguration, and the smashing of the Confederate spy ring headed by Rose Greenhow, the notorious "Wild Rose of the Confederacy." In Lerner's hands, even the cotton futures market becomes the stuff of drama. At the same time, the author cannily exploits the gaps in the Pinkerton legend where imagination can be given free rein, creating a tense and complicated relationship between Pinkerton and the steely Warne.
—The Washington Post