Dead Man’s Tunnel
With a title like Dead Man’s Tunnel, you might think you are about to read an old Western or a sinister detective novel, but in fact it is Sheldon Russell’s newest installment in his historical mystery series. Once again, he engages readers with an intricate plot. Hook Runyon is often unexpectedly entertaining. He is out of the ordinary and is a former rail rider, or “bo.” He is a curious character with a quick wit, pragmatic outlook and a hard-knocks education.
From the chilling opening, we know that Joseph Erikson wakes up inside the Johnson Canyon Tunnel. White-knuckle drama unfolds early on as Joseph, a U.S. military guard, realizes escape is hopeless, as he is chained to the track. Hook Runyon, the railroad bull, lives in a caboose with his dog. He works at the West Salvage Yard, where he was hired to catch copper thieves.
When he receives word that a guard has been killed, he is sent to investigate. While searching for clues, he meets Lt. Allison Capron from the Army Transportation Department. Questions of responsibility and jurisdiction erupt between the two. Hook’s brash confidence is no match for the young lieutenant. The grade to the approach of the tunnel is one of the steepest in America, and the accident gives Hook shivers; he is on a trail with deadly twists and turns. Hook is one tough, cagey yard dog with a passion for rare books and a humorous, quirky side. What he uncovers just doesn’t fit. Suicide? Murder? Accident?
This is not the first Hook Runyon book, nor will it be the last. Wherever Hook Runyon appears next, you and I should be on that ride. Spectacular writing, witty dialogue, and a complex mystery will take readers to a terrifying edge.