THE INSTRUMENT OF DARKNESS
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Rusty Harding • Cover: Michael Cox
Trade Paperback: Standard Print, 182 pgs. $12.99
Trade Paperback: Large Print, 308 pgs., $16.99
eBook: Apple, Nook, KOBO, etc., $4.95
eBook: Kindle, $2.99
iPad edition: Available on the iBookstore, $4.99
Granbury, Texas, 1876: A flamboyant bartender named John St. Helen lies deathly ill. He summons his best friend to his bedside and begins to weave an incredible tale of murder, mystery, and historical deceit. And before his story is finished, John St. Helen will reveal the truth: that he is John Wilkes Booth, the Instrument of Darkness.
"This story is a work of fiction. While it does portray actual personages, it is not intended to be a historical treatise, nor is it the final, authoritative version of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The story is based on published theories, historical speculation, and American legend; most notably that of John St. Helen, a Texas bartender who made the astonishing yet compelling claim that he was actually the infamous John Wilkes Booth."— Rusty Harding
"Recorded history asserts that the killer of Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth, was tracked down, killed and burned in an old barn . . . (Rusty) Harding has taken the "what if" approach, something akin to what if Hitler is alive and hiding out in Argentina. What if Booth got away! What if when he thought he was on his deathbed Booth identified himself and told his full story? . . . The novel is written in a kind of older American English, as though it were either narrated or written in the late 19th Century, using slightly obsolete words and obscure meanings. So it's a fun read . . . Finally and most important, after reading the novel I finally understood the core of Booth's personality. Sure, he loved he South. Yes, he hated Lincoln. But even more important he was an actor. And Booth's world was the stage."
—Jonathan Gubin, Lincoln Historian