Book review: Every Cloak Rolled in Blood

Every Cloak Rolled in Blood

James Lee Burke

Orion Books

Reviewer: Phiri Cawe

James Lee Burke’s latest offering has garnered a lot of praise from different corners of the literary world.

It has been hailed as a masterpiece, a tour de force and epic, among many accolades.

As an expert storyteller famous for weaving together crime, thriller and historical mystery, there is no doubt that this high praise is well-deserved.

But be warned: Every Cloak Rolled in Blood is not an easy read. It blends moments of sheer supernatural terror in ways I never expected.

While the author taps into all his signature genres for this, the book can get heavy and sluggish for those who prefer their fiction fast and furious.

Though the book is not long, it is a slow burn that requires the reader’s full attention.

Every Cloak Rolled in Blood is about an elderly novelist named Aaron Holland Broussard.

When his daughter Fannie Mae dies suddenly, Aaron also stops living and merely exists in a void waiting to die; shattered by her death.

He endures this on his remote Montana ranch where, at times, he spends his nights with a gun in his hand contemplating suicide.

But part of him also holds back in the hopes that his precious Fannie Mae will come back to him.

When she finally does make an appearance as a ghost, it is in a realm more sinister than Aaron could have contemplated.

Suddenly, he is faced with other-worldly evil when a portal is opened to allow the “old people’’ into this realm and along with them, a famous mass murderer from the history books.

When Fannie Mae shows up she guides her father through a tangled web of the present and past and helps him vanquish his foes from both this world and the next.

If you like your stories slow and steady, and you’re not scared about anything jumping at you from quiet corners, then Every Cloak Rolled in Blood is definitely for you.