The Third Riel Conspiracy by Stephen LegaultThe Third Riel Conspiracy by Stephen Legault

The Third Riel Conspiracy

byStephen Legault

Paperback | February 26, 2013

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It is the spring of 1885 and the Northwest Rebellion has broken out. Amid the chaos of the Battle of Batoche, a grisly act leaves Reuben Wake dead. A Metis man is arrested for the crime, but he claims innocence. When Durrant Wallace, sergeant in the North West Mounted Police, begins his own investigation into the man's possible motives, he learns there were many who wanted Wake dead. What Durrant uncovers is a series of covert conspiracies surrounding Metis leader and prophet Louis Riel. And, during the week-long intermission in Riel's trial, he sets a trap to find Wake's true killer.

The Third Riel Conspiracy is the second book in the Durrant Wallace Mysteries, a series of historical murder mysteries set during pivotal events in western Canada's history.

Title:The Third Riel ConspiracyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.62 inPublished:February 26, 2013Publisher:TouchWood EditionsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1927129850

ISBN - 13:9781927129852

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Murder and Mayhem in the Old Canadian West The Northwest Rebellion has broken out in Canada in the spring of 1885 in this second exciting adventure of Durrant Wallace, sergeant in the North West Mounted Police. Durrant has a painful prosthetic leg and a hand injury from an attack that nearly killed him, but he’s battled back to keep his job and self-respect. Friends support him, but enemies watch him with a wary eye, for he is a fierce fighter for justice and a man who never gives up. The decisive Battle of Batoche left horrific casualties on both sides, but among the dead is a disagreeable man called Reuben Wake. Wake was foreman of the teamsters in charge of the horses. His body was found inside the zareba, a defensive structure made of wagons, boxes and earthen berms, shot in the head with his own pistol. The Colt revolver was located on a Metis deserter who hated Wake. He says he’s innocent. In the usual pillaging, Wake brutally raped a thirteen-year-old girl, and her farmer father is also on the rampage and in custody. Legault introduces the graphic horrors and destruction of war as a peaceful prairie turns to Golgotha: The town of Batoche lay in ruins. Buildings were pocked with holes and several fires burned in the tall dry grass along the banks of the river. Beyond, on a high sloping hill above the town, more fires smouldered…a church and a rectory amid the grey haze. Durrant disobeys orders, setting out from the new city of Calgary out across the plains where conspiracies are brewing in this pivotal time in the new nation’s history. First is the prophet Riel’s movement to set up his nation of Metis and friendly tribes in response to the abuses of the Macdonald politicians. Treaties have been broken time and again, and many people are starving. Then comes the plan to stop Riel. And finally, the shadowy plot to kill Riel before trial to save the government embarrassment when the sordid facts are revealed. Thanks to the railroad, Durrant can compress a week’s journey into a day, and Ottawa transports troops to quell the rebellion. A thrilling scene takes place later in the book as a madman threatens a woman’s life on the speeding carriage. Legault’s passionate and committed characters bring these stories to life. Wounded in body and soul after his wife’s earlier death, Durrant and his elfin young friend Charlene Mason aka Charlie match wits with each other and the forces of evil. Not only is there an age and sex difference, but similar stubborn personalities. Introduced as a stableboy in the first adventure, Charlene disobeyed Durrant’s edicts about staying safe at home. Despite his role as a “guardian,” sparks fly between the two: “She was dressed…as a stableboy, but she was smiling broadly, her hair touching her shoulders and the morning sun on her face. The light caught in the blue of her eyes was mesmerizing.” The battle scenes define the cusp of modern warfare. Soldiers still roll out of their blankets and hunker down for warmth as they have for five thousand years. “They sat by the fire and ate potatoes with the skin on them and slabs of bacon with biscuits and drank more of Garnet’s coffee.” On the other hand, the new Gatling gun is wiping out the rebels in exponential numbers. Details add to the realism. Legault knows his guns, from the famous Enfield and Winchester rifles to the Webley and the tiny British Bulldog model in his boot. His doctor friend Saul uses the latest forensic tests to pluck cartridge casings from a victim’s skin as Durrant struggles to tell the difference between powder burns and gun-oil stains. Those who regard Canada’s history as dry and unpalatable might drink deeply at this reviving spring. Charlene and Durrant seem poised to enjoy many more great adventures in the West, their relationship maturing along with the nation.
Date published: 2013-01-26