I hate to have to say how disappointed I was in David Parrott's "The Last Best Hope." I love historical fiction and I was really interested in this Civil War alternate history story but the characters never connected with me and the story just fell flat. It did pick up toward the end and become more interesting but by then it was too late for me.
This story is also written as first-person narrative from the perspective of Captain Ezekiel Edwards, former Captain for the Union Army. I don't usually enjoy first-person narratives although there have been some exceptions (Moby Dick, for example). I couldn't identify with Captain Edwards the defeated captain, laudanum addict, oil driller, and union loyalist. I didn't like him. I also didn't like John Wilkes Booth although I doubt we were ever expected to like the man who assassinated President Lincoln in real history. He was despicable in this story.
I also found myself annoyed because what I wanted to read in this story was a telling of history if the south had won the Civil War. I wanted to read about the prevalence of slavery, a changed social and civil outlook on society, and how politics and the economy would be different. If Robert E. Lee was President instead of Abraham Lincoln how would the United States have been a different country and a different society? I wanted a national story but instead what I got was a perspective of John Wilkes Booth out to find and kill former President Abraham Lincoln at all costs and manipulating a former Union captain to do it. I wanted an alternate history of the country after the Civil War but instead I just read a different perspective on the same conflict between the same two men. It left me disappointed.
By the time we met Chastity Stottish and the story took it's turn toward intrigue and excitement I had already lost interest and was simply trudging through it. Her character was at least lively and likable and she did make for an interesting partnership with Captain Edwards. When they were together working toward the cause I enjoyed reading about them but unfortunately those moments were too far and few between.