REVIEW of The Blue Cloak by Shannon McNear

Rachel Taylor is a little jealous that her friend Sally is the one getting married, not her. But when rumors of newlywed Wiley Harpe’s brutality begin to spread through the Tennessee frontier, Rachel begins to realize how much Sally is to be pitied. Soon Rachel finds herself trying desperately to extricate Sally from the situation she has got herself into and to stop her from being hanged as an accessory to murder.

Based on true events right before the turn of the eighteenth century, this fictionalized account tells the story of America’s first serial killers. Coming of age during the violence of the American Revolution, Wiley and Micaiah Harpe are highwaymen who exemplify the word “amoral.” Angry at the world, they go on a killing spree across the wilderness state, taking Sally and two other women with them. A posse of frontiersmen attempts to locate the blackguards, but they are clever as they are cruel, eluding pursuit for over a year.

This gruesome story is deftly told by a Christian author who blends it with a tale of God’s grace. Although the horrors of the murders are chronicled, there is no delight taken in depraved details. The blue cloak in the book symbolizes the link between Rachel and Sally, adding artistry to the tale. Not for the faint of heart, this is one novel you will keep thinking about long after you are finished….

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my open. 

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