“Welcome to the bloody end of bleeding Kansas…”
Based on true events, this unforgettable novel tells the story of the Bloody Benders, a family of grifters and thieves running an isolated feed store on the Kansas plains, boarding travelers along the Great Osage Trail. Beautiful Kate Bender was mysterious and well-versed in the dark arts; Ma and Pa were quiet and foreboding, speaking in guttural tones; and young John Bender was thought to be insane. On land soaked with the blood of conflict, the Benders made their home. And one by one, prairie travelers began to disappear…
Rooted in history, this is a vivid tale of the Benders’ origins, and how they became some of the most horrific figures in early post-Civil War America.
“This meticulously researched, vividly told story marries an almost biblical poetry to the rough action of a Western. Readers who can stomach its violence will find a bleak beauty in this portrayal of one of the American prairie’s ugliest stories.A heavenly retelling of a hellish tale.”— Kirkus Reviews
“‘Hell’s Half-Acre’ is a powerful and involving work. Nicastro’s anti-heroine, Kate Bender, is so winningly characterized he made me pull for her in a very unexpected way. But what sticks with me most is the land as the austere staging for this drama. The world is a stage and it’s as stark as all of Kansas with nowhere to hide. Nicastro’s language is equal to it.”— Lamar Herrin, author of The Unwritten Chronicles of Robert E. Lee and The Lies Boys Tell