Charles Lane – Freedom’s Detective

Freedoms Detective reveals the untold story of the Reconstruction-era US Secret Service and their battle against the Ku Klux Klan, through the career of its controversial chief, Hiram C. Whitle.

In the years following the Civil War, a new battle began. Newly freed African American men had gained their voting rights and would soon have a chance to transform Southern politics. Former Confederates and other white supremacists mobilized to stop them. Thus, the KKK was born.

After the first political assassination carried out by the Klan, Washington power brokers looked for help in breaking the growing movement. They found it in Hiram C. Whitley. He became head of the Secret Service, which had previously focused on catching counterfeiters and was at the time the governments only intelligence organization. Whitley and his agents led the covert war against the nascent KKK and were the first to use undercover work in mass crime – what we now call terrorism – investigations.

Like many spymasters before and since, Whitley also had a dark side. His penchant for skulduggery and dirty tricks ultimately led to his involvement in a conspiracy that would bring an end to his career and transform the Secret Service.

Populated by intriguing historical characters – from President Grant to brave Southerners, both black and white, who stood up to the Klan – and told in a brisk narrative style, Freedoms Detective reveals the story of this complex hero and his central role in a long-lost chapter of American history.

Author: Charles Lane
Narrator: Jonathan Yen
Duration: 10 hrs
Released: 19 Sep 2004
Publisher: Harlequin Audio
Language: English

User Review:

wanderer stubby

Wouldn’t recommend this book. While I did learn some things, I could have gotten more information in far less time from other sources. The narration combined with the style of writing does not make for an easy or enjoyable performance.

The title implies a unified story involving three issues: 1. secret service 2. Klan 3. Hiram C. Whitle. The book covers all three points, but not in a cohesive way. Chapters tend to deal with one issue or another, loosely tied together.

Had I not committed to finish all the books I start this year, I would have abandoned this a third of the way in.