“Abell’s ensemble saga is filled with language both lushly poetic and accessible in exposing the rabid guilt of broken souls. He explores cancerous hatred bent on destroying everything it touches. Faith and mysticism collide in a curious mix at the crossroads of redemption. The keenly felt triumphs and struggles of its superbly drawn characters propels the story to a tragic, tenuously hopeful finale, which leaves you satisfied but still wanting more.”—WILLIAM D. HASTINGS, author of Behind Prison Walls
“Abell delves into the complexities of grace, mercy and human frailty. The central lens is Deacon Coburn, a searching soul who could easily be seen as the colonial equivalent to Christian in The Pilgrim’s Progress. Abell excels in the area of character development, marrying an appreciation for abnormal and social psychology with the spiritual impact of shame. It’s a raw portrayal of imperfection and redemption that will require you to check your biases and beliefs and consider the real meaning of peace.”—GLENN A. ROBITAILLE, author of In Praise of Uncertainty and Rembrandt’s Prism
Shadows of Revenge continues the story that began with Days of Purgatory. The sequel is an adventure mystery set in and around Abilene, Kansas in 1872. Deacon Coburn, a realist galvanized by his past, is startled when remnants of yesteryear track him down.
Longing and brokenness are everywhere. A headstrong orphan girl seeks to live out her dreams; a childless widow pursues meaning; a reformed prostitute desires a return to her childhood faith; a young man makes tragic choices.
It’s a tale of hope and redemption. No matter how ugly our past, every individual can choose new beginnings. In the words of a stealthy drifter, “Hope is always nearby, as sure as thunder follows lightning. Search your heart. Hope is there to lead you onward.”
“In the second installment of Deacon Coburn’s saga, Abell proves himself to be adept at developing characters that matter and a storyline that at once is satisfying and stimulating. Three women from Coburn’s past converge in Abilene, Kansas in 1872. He meets each one on his terms. There’s a murder to be solved and a mysterious stranger to get to know, who just happens to be quick with a gun. The intrigues and goings-on that follow keep the reader on edge as the story winds its way around the outcroppings of faith and mysticism. The atmosphere and world that Abell creates is so real one can feel the heat, hear the noise of longhorns, taste the dust and smell the scent of manure hanging in the muggy air. This is western writing at its absolute best and must reading for those who appreciate a riveting and forceful narrative.”—S. G. WYANT