Devil in the Countryside
by Cory Barclay
Publisher: Cory Barclay/ CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 5, 2017)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Paperback: 348 pages
Available from: Amazon
Devil in the Countryside is a story about the most famous werewolf investigation in history, brimming with intrigue and war, love and betrayal, and long-kept vendettas.
It's 1588, the height of the Reformation, and a killer is terrorizing the German countryside. There are reports that the legendary Werewolf of Bedburg has returned to a once-peaceful land. Heinrich Franz, a cold and calculating investigator, is tasked with finding whomever -- or whatever -- the killer might be. He'll need all the help he can get, including that of a strange hunter who's recently stumbled into town. Though they're after the same thing, their reasons are worlds apart. And through it all, a priest tries to keep the peace among his frightened townsfolk, while a young woman threatens his most basic beliefs.
In a time when life is cheap and secrets run rampant, these four divergent souls find themselves entwined in a treacherous mystery, navigating the volatile political and religious landscape of 16th century Germany, fighting to keep their sanity -- and their lives.
Devil in the Countryside by Cory Barclay
History shows dozens of the bloodiest times to be fought In the name of a spiritual belief. The late sixteenth century was no different as the Dark Ages become witness to deceit, treachery and the most foul of sins against humanity in the supposed name of God. Catholic clergy are little more than tyrants who believe themselves to be above the law of mankind. Protestants view heaven and hell as an all or nothing proposition and the infamous Werewolf of Bedbourg is said to be back, with blood and death staining his teeth and fouling his breath. The German countryside is caught in an all-consuming fear as the grizzly death count rises. Has the monster been unleashed by one religion to decimate another? Is it the acts of a paid assassin or a mythical beast?
DEVIL IN THE COUNTRYSIDE by Cory Barclay is historical crime fiction, complete with a hard-boiled investigator, Heinrich Franz, whose commission it is to find out who or what is killing innocents of a particular faith. While the higher clergy look down at the masses as their puppets, a young priest realizes his calling was not that of the church, but as a man and his heart is at war with his duty to celibacy with a young woman promised to another.
Become immersed in the treachery, the hate and the superstitions of the sixteenth century as some church leaders use coercion and misconceptions, open threats and torture to evoke “confessions” that will lead to death, so very much like the Salem Witch Trials. Witness the growing and forbidden love between the young priest and his lover, feel the confusion as the priest discovers he believes in the teachings of the Protestants over the lies spewed from his Catholic leaders. Will the werewolf be found before more innocents are forced to confess crimes they have never committed? How does the investigator fit into this tale?
Cory Barclay remains true to the bones of the history of his tale and fleshes it out into a twisted crime thriller in one of the world’s most volatile and dark times. Tremendous world building, vivid details that will sometimes have you cringing, this historical fiction is a true gem to read and Cory Barclay is an author with a pen so powerful, you will feel as if you are there. Never read gritty historical fiction? Here is your chance!
I received this copy from Cory Barclay in exchange for my honest review.