Dairl M. Johnson
Dairl M. Johnson (2015)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (08/15)
Article first published as Book Review: ‘In Search of Tom Candy’ by Dairl M. Johnson on Blogcritics.
“In Search of Tom Candy” by Dairl M. Johnson is a captivating historical fiction novel surrounding the events of the assassination of President Lincoln, and one man’s pursuit to clear his father’s name.
The story begins in 1904 with John Stanton, a journalist who, after a great deal of research, goes in search of information about Tom Candy. Tom Candy is a man John believes has answers that could clear his father’s name. Englishman Tom Candy was the first cattleman to drive cattle from Texas to New York in the mid 1800’s. John’s father, Edwin Stanton, who was the secretary of war under President Lincoln, passed away under mysterious circumstances right before John was born. During his time under Lincoln, Edwin pursued going after high ranking officers to end corruption in the military. This venture made him some enemies. Giving up a good job at the Tribune, John Stanton takes off on an investigative adventure to find out the truth about his father.
The suspense builds as John discovers that people are protecting Tom Candy, and he receives threats to give up his search. When John finally finds Candy, they both realize that they are targets of someone else’s wrath. Determined to figure out the connection, the men develop a friendship and work together to solve the mystery so they can clear Edwin Stanton’s name, and save themselves.
I loved that the author took the story back and forth between the mid-1800’s and early 1900’s. It made it more interesting for me to be able to immerse myself into the two historical eras. The protagonist didn’t have the internet and fancy technology to do his exploring; rather he had to rely on his good old fashioned investigative skills. That also makes the story more unique. Some twists in the plot surprised me, and I enjoyed how the author used his creativity to pull this off. The vivid descriptions of the times really brought the story to life as well. I think that fans of historical conspiracies will enjoy reading, “In Search of Tom Candy” by Dairl M. Johnson.