The End of the Line
Review: Stephen Legault introduces Sergeant Durrant Wallace of the North West Mounted Police investigating a murder along the new Canadian Pacific Railway in The End of the Line, a historical mystery set during the winter of 1884.
The brutal weather has brought to a halt construction on the CPR through the Rocky Mountains. About 500 men of all ages are living in virtual isolation in the small town of Holt City. With little to occupy their time, they have become restless and irritable. Worse, the supply trains from the east have been increasingly slow to arrive. Illegal moonshine whiskey has started to turn up, adding fuel to the volatile atmosphere. When Deek Penner, the CPR section boss, is found murdered, his body frozen in a bank of snow, Sgt. Wallace — who had been sidelined when he lost a leg in a gun battle several years ago — is pressed into service to identify the killer.
Suspects are plentiful, making Wallace's job both easier and more difficult. It is one of the elements of this novel that rings particularly true: the characters — a really diverse group is presented here — can all be imagined as if they were from the late 19th century. Of particular note is Wallace's companion Charlie, a mute teenager, who assists Wallace in his daily life and later, as his eyes and ears in the murder investigation. The mystery behind the death of Penner is first-rate, unfolding in a manner that keeps reader wondering whodunit until the very end. The End of the Line is a fine start for this historical series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The End of the Line.
Acknowledgment: TouchWood Editions provided a copy of The End of the Line for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Slickrock Paradox
TouchWood Editions (Trade Paperback), September 2012
ISBN-13: 9781927129395; ISBN-10: 1927129397
Location(s) referenced in The End of the Line: Canada
— ♦ —
The End of the Line by Stephen Legault — A Durrant Wallace Mystery
Publisher: TouchWood Editions
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: September 2011
List Price: $18.95