READERS ARE SAYING....
"No lie lives forever." Police procedure, courtroom drama, compassion, superb writing, filled with numerous twists and turns . . . Rest up before starting; you'll pull an all-nighter.
Donnnell Ann Bell, Amazon Bestselling Author of 2020 Colorado Book Award Finalist Black Pearl; A Cold Case Suspense
This meticulously constructed thriller takes us to dark and harrowing corners of the human heart. Come for the twists, stay for the humanity . . . and the truth.
Richard Cass, Author of Mickey's Mayhem, and Maine Literary Award Winner.
The Girl in the Orange Maillot, by Bailey Herrington, is a psychological thriller disguised as a
murder mystery. The book opens with a young couple stumbling upon the body of Walter Harris, who
has been brutally murdered in what one could only describe as a ritualistic execution. Harris’s past is
clouded by a 1955 court case involving his neighbor, Lloyd MacDonald, whom he’d accused of sexual
abuse against one of his two daughters. The prime suspect is Bruce MacDonald, Lloyd’s son, whose
name was etched on the knife that was left at the scene of the crime, and who had admitted to blaming
Harris for ruining his father’s life. The story begins in a dark place, setting the tone for the downward
spiral that ensues.
The story hops back and forth along the eight-year timeline, descending gradually further into
darkness at each turn. The fates of Walter and Bruce are presented to the reader early on, yet the
author still manages to build tension slowly and delicately throughout the story. What starts off as a
murder mystery warps into a deep dive into the psychological, familial, and social impacts of public
perception and false accusation. Herrington has crafted a cast of characters that are believable and elicit
genuine concern and empathy from the reader. The book hits with enough twists to keep the reader on
their toes, while avoiding the banal cliches that can render other books of the genre to become tired. It
is a fun, heartbreaking, witty, and devastating story that keeps the reader engaged to the very end.
Michael Holt, Williamsville, NY
In all three of author Herrington's David Elliott mysteries, one can always expect a quirky humor, a not-so-simple dilemma and an enthusiastic amateur sleuth in David. One enjoys watching David increase his detective skills as he grows from teen baseball player to college graduate. In book four Herrington delivers again but adds a new perspective. The plot revolves around the age-old battle of good versus evil. Doubts prevail as author Herrington allows Elliott to challenge the legal, religious and historical traditions of the times.
Carolyn Pizzuto, Maryland
Herrington has an artist's eye for detail about the settings of his novels, a listener's ear for the dialogue of his characters, and a puzzler's mind for his ability to tell a tale. Mystery fans will love the plot, based, as all of Herrington's work is, on historical facts. A good solid tale that is rated family fare for all readers.
Jimbo, North Carolina, Amazon Reviewer
In the tradition of Andrew Greeley, William X. Kienzle and James Runcie, Bailey Herrington draws on his extensive knowledge of the church and keen sense of history and place to craft a captivating tale of good versus evil, of a model, close-knit family, the MacDonalds, nearly destroyed by deceit, treachery and unspeakable crimes, their hope for redemption resting with a resourceful young minister who owes much of his success to his relationship with Lloyd MacDonald and who, like Blackie Ryan and Sidney Chambers, risks his life and livelihood to help local police discover the truth.
R. T. Lund, Author of A Climate for Death
The Girl in the Orange Maillot by Bailey Herrington is a mystery wrapped up in a psychological thriller. The book opens with a killing in 1963 and dips back in time to the mid-fifties . Here the reader meets the main characters who reveal the events that lead up to the murder, and hint at the keys to solving the mystery. It all unfolds in a sleepy small town in southwestern Pennsylvania.
One fine highlight of the book is its excellent character development. Herrington has skillfully drawn characters that feel very real. The downward spiral psychologically of the main character Lloyd MacDonald, builds as he is falsely accused of a heinous crime. His ordeal is especially heart wrenching, very believable, and well crafted.
The reactions of his wife and son are poignant without being melodramatic. And Herrington’s portrayal of the local small town community members and local law enforcement feels very on the mark.
Yet another highlight is Herrington’s ability to successfully weave social and political commentary without coming across as judgmental. A very believable example of this is the description of a church board’s meeting to chastise the minister, David Elliott, for his defense of his friend. It is a fine human touch. Altogether, the plot is engaging, the characters believable, the writing smooth, and the conclusion both satisfying and plausible. Just a very worthwhile read.
Jean Roach, retired teacher, world traveler.
Lloyd and Lynn MacDonald are close to finishing the beautiful addition onto their historic home. Their son and his pre-college friends are the intern carpenters and painters. Everything is coming together. Then a neighbor falsely accuses Lloyd of molesting his nine-year-old daughter and everything falls apart.
Bailey Herrington’s latest book, The Girl in the Orange Maillot, is a tense tale of how a family deals with an accusation of a sensational crime, its ravaging effects on the family and its aftermath years later. The story follows Lloyd's and Lynn’s efforts to free him of the accusation of the crime and of the opprobrium of neighbors and town leaders. Exoneration doesn’t provide freedom for Lloyd. His faith in human beings is shattered and he just can’t go back to the way things were.
Years later the accuser is found dead with a mysterious message stuck to his body. It infers that a bizarre cult is exacting vengeance for sins committed by the deceased. But a clue points back to the MacDonalds’ son Bruce.
David Elliott and his resourceful wife Judy can’t accept that Bruce would be a murderer and neither does Nicole Palmer, Bruce’s former girlfriend. So they set out to find the real killer. They follow a twisted trail to unravel the meaning of the strange note. What does it mean? Who are these people? Why would they kill with apparent self-righteousness but then pin the blame on someone else?
The characters are believable: the MacDonalds who simply want to enjoy their life, the neighbors whose family tension shrouds secrets hidden behind aspirations for success and the young Pastor Elliott and his wife who can’t let lies lie. The women characters are intelligent, capable and quick-witted. Even minor characters have substance and aid the story’s movement.
This is more than a “who-done it”. It is a thoughtful exploration of how people confront life’s challenges as each family tries to deal with the pain they face. I recommend it. It’s a good read.
Karen Dumont, New Mexico
In this mystery, an innocent man is accused of sexually abusing a nine-year-old neighbor, an allegation that will impact both families for years to come.
In 1955, Lynn and Lloyd MacDonald welcome new next-door neighbors Regina and Walter Harris. The MacDonalds even offer to babysit the Harris’s daughters, Allison, 9, and Carin, 6, even though both live busy lives.
No one suspects that Walter is an abusive husband and father who resents Lloyd and his successful life. When Allison comes home smelling of perfume one day, Walter sees his chance to ruin Lloyd. He accuses him of sexual abuse, and Allison is too afraid of her father to tell the truth. The accusation and ensuing trial ruin Lloyd’s life.
Eight years later, when Walter is found dead, police suspect Lloyd’s son Bruce. But Bruce’s friends, Pastor David Elliott and his wife Judy, don’t believe it - and aim to find the real killer.
The book occurs in two time periods: 1955 and 1963, Herrington is a skilled writer, and the 1955 chapters are a particularly enthralling look at how false accusations can destroy a loving, kind man of faith. The chapters on Lloyd and his family are so well-written that readers will fly through the pages. Pastor Elliott and his wife are pleasant company, lightening the mood with their easy banter.
The characters are well-drawn. You certainly wrote a page-turner! I am very impressed. Let me know how the whole publication process is going.
Pre-publication reader of The Girl In The Orange Maillot
About "Pack of Soundrels":
While I'm not a big mystery fan, I enjoy historical fiction and this book was full of interesting historical tidbits. The Las Cruces, NM setting was also a draw for me. And, I have to admit, the mystery plot was compelling, I especially like the author's literary allusions one of which particularly peaked my interest . It was about a poem by Langston Hughes which I looked up and read with great interest. Herrington's research and literate writing make this a fun and informative read. I highly recommend.
Tsar Joe, Wisconsin
I love mysteries and this one really was full of the twists and turns that made it a captivating read for me.