S. Thomas Bailey continues the saga of the Jacob Murray family in “Shades of Death: The Gauntlet Runner, Book II.” In book one we met Private Jacob Murray from Pennsylvanian and watched as he became a scout for George Washington’s Provincial Militia, in the Ohio Valley. The year was 1754 and the French were invading the English land. Twenty six year old Jacob left his wife Maggie at home to care for their four children and the farm. A raiding party of the French and Huron raided the farm taking his family captive. Jacob was determined to find his family and rescue them. “Shades of Death” picks up where Book I left off. Maggie escaped the Huron only to be sold to a French merchant. Jacob along with Joshua and One-Ear form a plan to rescue Maggie but things go terribly wrong. Maggie and One-Ear journey north toward Canada in an attempt to avoid the French; along their way they meet several tribes of Indians. Jacob is captured by the French and only with the help of Joshua does he manage to escape. Will the Murrays ever be reunited?
I had the honor of reviewing book I in this series and I was enthralled with the plot. It is a great honor to have the opportunity to now review book II. The plot is realistic and the author seems to have captured the essence of the era. The characters marched off the pages and into my heart. As I read this tale it was easy to become engaged in the action. It was like watching a play take place on the stage of my mind’s eye. “Shades of Death” is an exciting historical fiction. This book would make a great mini-series. I look forward to the next installment. Please Mr. Bailey, don’t keep me waiting.