The Wilson Deception
Published by: Kensington
Buy the Book: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Politics and Prose, Apple
Against the backdrop of the Paris Peace Conference that would remake Europe in the wake of World War I, The Wilson Deception reunites Dr. Jamie Fraser and Speed Cook, protagonists of the acclaimed The Lincoln Deception, in an intriguing presidential mystery.
After four years of horror The Great War has ended, and President Woodrow Wilson’s arrival in Paris in December 1918 unites the city in ecstatic celebration. Major Jamie Fraser, an army physician who has spent ten months tending American soldiers, is among the crowd that throngs the Place de la Concorde for Wilson’s visit. As an expert on the Spanish influenza, Fraser is also called in to advise the president’s own doctor on how best to avoid the deadly disease. Despite his robust appearance, Wilson is more frail than the public realizes. And at this pivotal moment in history, with the Allied victors gathering to forge a peace treaty, the president’s health could decide the fate of nations.
While Fraser tries to determine the truth about Wilson’s maladies, he encounters a man he has not seen for nearly twenty years. Speed Cook—ex-professional ball player and advocate for Negro rights—is desperate to save his son Joshua, an army sergeant wrongly accused of desertion. Pledging to help Cook, Fraser approaches Allen Dulles, a charming American spy who is also Wilson’s close aide. Soon Cook and Fraser’s personal quest dovetails with the dramatic events unfolding throughout Paris, as French premier Georges Clemenceau narrowly survives an assassination attempt and peace negotiations begin to unravel. Rivalries and hidden agendas abound. At stake is not only Joshua Cook’s freedom, but the fragile treaty that may be the only way to stop Europe and the world from plunging into another brutal war.
With a cast of vividly drawn characters that includes T.E. Lawrence, David Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill, The Wilson Deception provides a riveting and expertly researched blend of history and suspense—illuminating, deftly plotted, and thoroughly satisfying.
"Another terrific Fraser and Cook mystery . . . a tight, clever finish, worthy of a vintage spy caper or 007’s own playbook."
-- Washington Post, November 18, 2015
"Stewart [in The Wilson Deception] deftly depicts the mood of an era and the colorful figures who shaped it."
-- Publishers Weekly, September 2015
"This fast-paced novel combines suspense and history in this fictional narrative about the Paris Peace Conference and President Wilson's ailing health . . . [A]lthough part of a series, [it] can be read alone."
-- Fox 11 News, Green Bay, WI, February 2017
“Stewart moves characters from The Lincoln Deception to the period just after the end of WWI. The historical details and interaction with famous figures make for an intriguing read.”
– RT Book Reviews, September 2015
"[A] challenging mystery. . . The post-armistice negotiations provide a fascinating look at the jockeying for power among countries who are ostensibly allies."
-- Historical Novel Society, November 2, 2015
Friday, December 13, 1918
Major Jamie Fraser could barely breathe as the packed Metro train lurched out of the station for Les Sablons. A hard object—an umbrella handle?—threatened to perforate his left kidney. He squirmed to ease the pressure. The crowd on its way to greet President Wilson’s arrival in Paris was too buoyant for Fraser to complain about a mere kidney. He had another one. The air in the car sagged with the smells of sour tobacco, recent soups, and layers of unlaundered clothes.
It wasn’t even five weeks since the armistice ended the war to end all wars, the one that President Wilson promised would make the world safe for democracy. The slogans hadn’t entirely lost their power over Fraser. They were why he signed up to be an army doctor at his advanced age. Or part of why. Over the last ten months in Paris, working fourteen and sixteen hours a day, his sense of mission had shriveled. In its place were the mangled and dying soldiers beyond the reach of his medical skills, which made little dent in the insults inflicted by high explosives, shrapnel, bullets, and poison gas.