The End of the Line by Stephen LegaultThe End of the Line by Stephen Legault

The End of the Line

byStephen Legault

Paperback | September 3, 2011

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It's the winter of 1884, and five hundredCanadian Pacific Rail workers have halted their push through the Rockies atHolt City, an isolated shantytown in the shadow of the Continental Divide.The men are tired and cold, and patience is as scarce as the rationed food.Then, Deek Penner, a CPR section boss, is brutally murdered at the end ofthe track. His body is found frozen on the banks of the Bow River.

Durrant Wallace, a veteran of the celebratedMarch West by the North West Mounted Police a decade earlier, is returned toactive duty to investigate the murder. Durrant lost his leg in a gun battlewith whiskey traders three years previous, and he struggles with being aMounted Police officer who cannot ride. When Durrant arrives, Holt City isripe with possible suspects: illegal whiskey smugglers, spies for rivalrailways, explosives dealers and a mysterious Member of Parliament whoinsists on getting his meddling fingers into everybody else's business.Durrant must use his cunning and determination to discover to identify thekiller before he finds his next victim and derails the great Canadiannational dream in the process.

Title:The End of the LineFormat:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.81 inPublished:September 3, 2011Publisher:TouchWood EditionsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1926971043

ISBN - 13:9781926971049


Rated 4 out of 5 by from A well written and interesting historical mystery. It brings to live vividly the lifein railway camps during the birth of Canada. The characters are well written and developed. We alternately feel sympathy and frustration with Durrant Wallace much like the other characters do as well. He is a natural and intelligent investigator. The final reveal of the murderer and all the twists and red herrings throughout made it a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Date published: 2013-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Wonderful Historical Mystery! A fantastic mystery novel. Full of suspense, history, and memorable characters. I, unfortunately, had to leave the book for a while due to school and work, but was easily able to pick it up and start where I'd left off because of the solid story and writing! If you love Canadian history and/or period mysteries this is a perfect book! Mr. Legault has a very clear form of narrative and a good sense for historical imagery, and engages the reader to feel apart of the story! Even a reader with little knowledge of the history of growing western Canada, will love this book as they will be lead through events, by the author, in an captivating way to keep the reader involved with historical events leading to the incidents that take place in the novel. I would definitely recommend this book!
Date published: 2013-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Legault Nails the Last Spike It’s winter 1883 and work on the last stretch of Canada’s railway to the Pacific has frozen to a halt in the formidable Rockies. Several hundred men are hunkered into a shantytown while tempers flare over cards, encouraged by powerful elixirs from illegal stills. One night a section boss is found bludgeoned to death. In this raw part of the new frontier, the semblance of law must be maintained. High-profile politicians and businessmen have a stake in this costly but glorious national effort to unite the Canadian wilderness from sea to sea. Durrant Wallace, a veteran North West Mounted Police officer, has been trying to return to active duty after losing a leg three years ago. So far his superiors in Fort Calgary have found him quick to anger and quicker with a gun. With a family tragedy tormenting him, this could be his last chance at self-respect. He’s popped onto a train with little more than a change of clothes and sent to the end of the line where everybody’s a suspect in this grisly slaying. How will he make his way through the heavy snow and bitter cold which await? With only a mute young boy Charlie by his side as an aide to offset his mobility problems, Wallace is given a tiny cabin for his headquarters. He soon discovers that many factions are protecting their interests and making as much money out of the rail business as possible. Wallace has few forensic aids to help him in Queen Victoria’s time, only his common sense, pluck, a talent for clever interviewing and even better bluff. If he can’t handle these tough and lawless men, he’ll have to creep back east as a failure. Little by little, the inner forces which have given this man a second chance at dignity are revealed. His handicap figures from the beginning scenes to the thrilling conclusion: “He could feel the nub of skin and bone where the prosthetic’s suction socket affixed to his ruined leg bled openly. By the time the track began to level out and the forest opened to reveal a star-filled sky, he could feel the blood staining his trousers and growing tacky in the heel of his boot.” With scientific precision and a touch of humanity, Legault describes Wallace’s prosthesis. The advances in artificial limbs made out of necessity during the American Civil War have arrived just in time for this active and valuable man. But does he dare get back on a horse again? With damage to his arm as well, he has learned to shoot all over again. Those who regard him as a helpless cripple will do so at their own peril. Legault, who has two environmentally-themed novels set in the present in the west, stretches his writer’s legs with this fascinating historical maiden effort. His extensive research, as documented in the back of the book, involves firearms, the development of the nitro and dynamite industry, the contentious politics of a young country, and the fascinating details of everyday living. It’s clear that the author spent considerable time reading about life in these rough camps, from the loud and sweaty dining hall with the inedible pie (but at least there WAS pie) to the fragile telegraph line that links the outpost to the outside world. And no troops are going to ride to the rescue with twenty-five feet of snow and a temperature of -35C. Wallace makes a challenging hero. He’s not Mr. Nice Guy. This is a dangerous business which calls for gutsy methods and little compromise. But neither does he feel sorry for himself. To the final chapter, there is no question of whether the last spike will be hammered. But how many more deaths will add to the toll taken by this massive effort? Wallace is a metaphor for the fledgling country herself. Neither one can give up cherished dreams. It looks like the sturdy sergeant will have many fine adventures ahead in this compelling series.
Date published: 2011-08-23