This incredible story is based on true events concerning young Betsy Roberts – how she was kidnapped and abused but survived America’s first serial killers – the evil Harpe brothers – how she outlived and ultimately profited using her wits and sheer determination.
Betsy Roberts, a young woman from Kentucky is brutally kidnapped by notorious outlaws Micajah and Wiley Harpe who abuse then exploit her. The novel describes how Betsy uses her wits and courage to survive, and then ultimately prosper despite the most appalling conditions and treatment she suffers, in the wilderness of late eighteenth century America. She gradually becomes tainted by the evil, murderous activities of the Harpe brothers who, amongst other things, use her as bait to lure travelers to their deaths. She does this under duress initially but later becomes indifferent, even to the extent of being a willing accomplice.
Part 2 of the novel describes her long, gruelling journey of escape to New York in the early eighteen hundreds. It covers how she became a key figure there, developing businesses, illicit and legal, and the family dynasty she establishes.
The story is an extraordinary and gripping tale of horrific violence, a kaleidoscope of extraordinary characters, settings and and yet also incredible willpower, survival instincts. Betsy ultimately becomes a strong, determined woman but also uses almost any means to achieve her ends.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
N.G. Neville is the pseudonym or pen name of Geoff Burke and Nick Fisher, co-authors of ‘BETSY ROBERTS’ their first major novel. It was preceded by a shorter novel entitled ‘DEGENERATION The Story of Betsy Roberts’ which forms the first part of the full novel ‘BETSY ROBERTS’.
A sequel or more accurately prequel, a collection of short or not so short in some cases, stories will be published in 2021. It has a working title ‘DEATH and SALVATION’. Many of the amazing characters in ‘BETSY ROBERTS’ are present before they appear in the full novel. How they got to where they were in the novel forms a fascinating collection of truly extraordinary stories.
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The story of Betsy Roberts is set in America, just after the Revolutionary War. This is a chilling, true tale of a young girl kidnapped by two ruthless and violent murderers, the Harpe Brothers, who are often described as America’s first serial killers. Used by the Harpe brothers in truly horrific ways, Betsy later becomes an almost willing accomplice, luring unsuspecting men to their deaths. When it becomes apparent that the brothers’ days are numbered, Betsy uses her good looks and charm to escape charges of wrongdoing. She begins a journey of her own that will change her fortunes forever.
This is a fascinating look at real-life events that are not for the faint of heart. The Harpe Brothers were truly evil, and the rapes and murders they committed are described in chilling detail. The effect of all of this on Betsy and how it shaped her life and future decisions is fascinating. Betsy’s future actions were possibly influenced by years of abuse, and, while this book is definitely biographical fiction, it sometimes becomes almost a psychological study of Betsy as well. Were the choices she made shaped by years of physical and mental torment from the Harpe Brothers? The characters are well written. There is sometimes a little more “telling” than “showing,” but this is a compelling story. Readers should be prepared for shocking violence and abuse against adults and children, especially in the first half of the book. Fans of historical fiction and the crime/thriller genre will be fascinated by this story of the first serial killers in America.
I received a free copy of this book via Zooloo’s Book Tours. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.