Friday, February 7, 2020

The Blue Cloak by Shannon McNear

The Blue Cloak is part of the "True Colors" series comprising historical fiction about crime in America.  Shannon McNear relates the events that took place over The Wilderness Road in Kentucky beginning in 1798. Two men who may have been cousins, posed as brothers and travelled through Kentucky wreaking havoc in the wilderness.

The events surrounding the serial killing done by these men for sport, revenge, or to procure supplies was hard to imagine. The author does a good job of mostly depicting those acts with veiled references but a few acts of cruelty are described in more detail.

Almost as horrifying as the killings, were the fact that three women were often made to witness to these acts. The make-up of the travelling party of two men and three women is based on historical fact. One woman had been completely blindsided by one who had professed to be a Christian, attended her father's church and had been recently baptised. How deeply he hid his true nature as she was entirely in the dark about his true character until the day he brought her to his home where she found two women were already in residence.

Reading this account, readers witness not only the madness of two of America's first serial killers but also the tragedy of domestic abuse and the evil power that kept the women entrapped. How could those women willingly follow these men for so many years?  Because they knew if they tried to escape, they would most certainly be hunted down. 

This may be a good series for those with an interest in true crime and historical fiction. Without overly gory detail, readers will be able to learn about some of America's painful past in a pretty sanitized manner. I would definitely recommend this book for adult audiences only. 

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of The Blue Cloak from NetGalley for the purpose of review. Opinions expressed are my own.

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