Rum Run

Written by R.C. Durkee
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

During the summer of 1928, when Prohibition is in force, it has become profitable to transport alcohol across Lake Erie, from Canada to the Ohio shoreline. Rusty is a certified Able Bodied Seaman, working on the tugboat Cherokee, hoping to work his way up to Mate and earn more money for himself and his wife, Di. They live in a cottage near the lake in Sandusky, a small fishing village in Ohio. Rusty also charters his own boat, Rising Sun, on fishing excursions during weekends to make extra money. When the tugboat company goes under due to bad management, Rusty is left without a full-time job.

After his wife is nearly killed by Revenue men while crossing the lake after leaving a party, Rusty decides he must begin looking for new work. He strikes up a relationship with a known local gangster and builds a speedboat to help haul illegal liquor. By doing so, he is risking not only his life but also his marriage, should his wife discover his involvement in committing this crime.

The author’s superior knowledge of the Lake Erie’s southern shore is excellent. She drew me into the era with its sights, sounds, and smells. Her characters were believable for the timeline; likewise, the plot kept me interested in the story. Although this isn’t fast-paced book, the action is exciting when introduced. The author really brings this period of history to life.

An enjoyable read. I highly recommend this book.