Newly minted trial lawyer Abraham Lincoln is riding the circuit, traveling by carriage with other lawyers and a judge to bring justice to the remote parts of Illinois. Meanwhile, Lincoln's close friend Joshua Speed steams up the Mississippi River aboard a steamboat owned by Speed's father when suddenly, his journey is interrupted when a rigged card game aboard the ship turns to violence--and then murder.
When a young traveling artist is accused of the crime, Speed enlists Lincoln to defend him. Together, Lincoln and Speed work to find evidence of the artist's innocence. But soon they come to discover that more than just the card games are crooked aboard the Speed family's ship. As the day of judgment hurtles towards them, Lincoln and Speed must fight to save not only the life of Lincoln's client but also the merit of Speed's good name.
Meticulously research and deftly plotted, Jonathan F. Putnam's second Lincoln and Speed mystery, Perish from the Earth is the superlative follow-up to These Honored Dead, praised by Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin as "Splendid...one of the most enjoyable works of fiction I have read in a long time." (Summary via Goodreads)
Perish From The Earth is the secnd book in the Lincoln & Speed Mystery series bu Jonathan F. Putnam and even though I haven't read the first book (yet) it felt like it was a stand alone story.
In Perish From The Earth you spend some time riding on a ship with Joshua Speed. As he is on the ship conducting business for his father who owns the ship, he witnesses a heated arguement between the gambler on the ship and a cotton planter. The cotton planter Jones, loses all his money and causes a big scene until he is escorted back to his room by one of the crew members.
Once back on land Speed meets up with good friend circuit lawyer, Abraham Lincoln. While out for a walk by the river the two of them come across a rather large bundle. Upon closer examination they are shocked to find it is a body..... a body that Speed knows. It is the cotton planter Jones from the ship. Then a short time later an arrested is made for the murder. A traveling artist Bingham who was also on the ship is arrested in front of Speed and Lincoln and Lincoln quickly convinces Bingham to appoint his as his lawyer.
Lincoln is given 3 weeks in order to obtain evidence proving his client's innocence. Speed and his sister Martha travel the river talking to whoever they can to help Lincoln win his case.
This book was very interesting to read. You got a glimpse into the slavery aspect of the time, traveled a steamboat, and met a lot of interesting characters without leaving the comforts of your living room. I love when a book is so good that the story takes you away and Perish From The Earth does just that !!
You will enjoy the journey that Joshua and Martha take and you will truly love the twists and turns as you get into the middle of the trial of Bingham.
Review by Missi S.