Book Review: ‘The Blue Cloak’ (True Colors) by Shannon McNear

Fiction Based on Strange, But True, History
 
True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through unique stories of historical romantic suspense. Collect them all and be inspired by the hope that always finds its way even in the darkest of times.
 
Based on real events beginning in 1797 — Rachel Taylor lives a rather mundane existence at the way station her family runs along the Wilderness Road in Tennessee. She attends her friend’s wedding only to watch it dissolve in horror has the groom, Wiley Harpe, and his cousin become murderers on the run, who drag their families along. Declaring a “war on all humanity,” the Harpes won’t be stopped, and Ben Langford is on their trail to see if his own cousin was one of their latest victims. How many will die before peace can return to the frontier?
 
About Shannon McNear
Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. A Midwestern farm girl who lived in Charleston, South Carolina, for more than two decades before being transplanted to North Dakota, she’s a military wife, mother of 8, and a member of ACFW and RWA. When not cooking, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies.

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘These men–it’s like they ain’t even men. Ain’t got the heart God gave ordinary human beings.’

This series has been good for the most part, but this one is outstanding! Shannon McNear has taken a true crime story and turned it into a read that is both riveting and horrifying at once. Telling the tale of Micajah and Wiley Harpe, often considered the earliest documented serial killers in the United States, she is absolutely fascinating and her research is truly impeccable, with even more for the reader to learn in the afterword.

Beginning in 1797 on the American frontier, these men tore a path of brutality and destruction everywhere they went. McNear doesn’t shy away from recounting their evil deeds, either. Her words are hard to read at times, but truly fascinating to this history buff, who had never heard of the Harpes. She weaves a fictionalized account of Rachel Taylor and Ben Langford into the story, as Ben rides with several posses intent on bringing these true monsters to justice.

This book was incredibly well written and totally held my interest throughout. If you’re a lover of true crime stories, this one is one you definitely should read. Recommended.

*My thanks to Barbour Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinion in this review is entirely my own.

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