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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 the Author
Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. She’s a military wife, mom of eight, mother-in-law of three, grammie of two, and a member of ACFW and RWA. Her first novella, Defending Truth in A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® finalist. When she’s not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies. Connect with her at www.shannonmcnear.com, or on Facebook and Goodreads.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Blue Cloak based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Excellently written historical fiction about terrible people from history, the truly heinous and gruesome pair of brothers Micajah and Wiley Harpe. It must have been tough to research and write about America's first documented serial killers. Author Shannon McNear writes a fast-paced story of their trail of murder and mayhem, and gratefully much of the horror is "off-screen". But even knowing what they did is horrifying. And the true story of the Harpes kidnapping two young women years before, keeping them under threat, and sharing them is appalling. Then add a marriage between the younger brother to a naive young pastor's daughter and you have Sally who suddenly finds herself with these other women in a horrible situation with no way out. Much is also written about the heroic efforts of those who sacrificed a great deal as they sought to find these evil brothers and bring them to justice. The fictional love story between Ben and Rachel, and the faith they share, and the prayers they offer for Sally is redemptive. In the beginning, the author shares a note with the readers in which she says "But I am encouraged, and I hope you the reader will be as well, that the Light truly is greater than the dark.....and no circumstances are ever so terrible or hopeless that His love cannot reach us." Stay tuned at the end for the lengthy Historical Note, it's fascinating to read about all the author had to sift through to present this page-turning story. What a difficult topic in history, well done Shannon McNear!
Confession: I didn’t quite “get” the premise of the book the first time I read the back cover. But I picked it up anyway, as I’ve read all the other books in the “True Crime” series. Hoo boy...on a few levels. Writing style, character development, plot, and pacing are all fantastic. I’ve never read McNear’s books before, and look forward to checking them out. Subject matter, though...I can’t say this is a book I’ll re-read. It’s hard, sometimes and some parts harder than others. My jaw literally dropped at one point and I just sat in stunned silence. But...this is history. I can’t argue with that. It really happened, and the amount of research McNear put into the book is truly astounding. I don’t envy what she had to research, read, and articulate herself to bring us this book. Her author’s note at the beginning is warranted and appreciated. So, admirably researched and written...my heart aches for such a history and fallen state of humanity that real events led us here. While I may not re-read this, it’s an example of history we cannot and should not whitewash or try to erase. I received a copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Shannon McNear really tackled tough true crime and I was hooked. There is no doubt that the crimes and violence committed by these two individuals was horrific. But in this story, there were also people willing to stand up, sacrifice and fight against evil. As the search for these criminals went on, I found myself caught up in the suspense and turning pages fast. The community soon realized the necessity of prayer and McNear wove short natural prayers throughout the story wonderfully. I liked that different characters with different perspectives prayed from their hearts. Within this well written story, there were tender moments and a genuine romance had a chance to bloom. Even a friendship proved true. This novel was well researched and certainly an interesting read and I’m glad that I did not miss it! I was given a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions are my own.