It is the spring of 1885 and rebellion has broken out in Canada's North West Territories. Amid the chaos and strife of the Battle of Batoche, Reuben Wake is murdered: shot at point blank range. Terrance Le Biche, a Métis man, is arrested for the crime. But Le Biche claims innocence―he admits he had every intention of killing Wake, but says someone beat him to the foul deedIt is the spring of 1885 and rebellion has broken out in Canada's North West Territories. Amid the chaos and strife of the Battle of Batoche, Reuben Wake is murdered: shot at point blank range. Terrance Le Biche, a Métis man, is arrested for the crime. But Le Biche claims innocence―he admits he had every intention of killing Wake, but says someone beat him to the foul deed.When Durrant Wallace, a sergeant in the North West Mounted Police, begins his own investigation into Le Biche's possible motives, he learns there were many who wanted Wake dead. And their grievances with Wake mirror the varied causes of the Northwest Rebellion itself. Durrant uncovers a series of covert conspiracies surrounding Métis leader and prophet Lois Riel, and, during the weeklong intermission in Riel's trial, he and his friends set a trap for Wake's true killer.The Third Riel Conspiracy is the second book in the Durrant Wallace series of historical mysteries....
|Title||:||The Third Riel Conspiracy|
|Number of Pages||:||264 Pages|
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The Third Riel Conspiracy Reviews
THE THIRD RIEL CONSPIRACYby Stephen Legault, TouchwoodAnother fascinating historical mystery by Stephen Legault, in this case questioning what motivated the hanging of Metis rebel leader Louis Riel. As this was a legal case, we can have no doubt that we are considering an issue of justice, and what justice should have been in the Riel case. For non-Canadians, a quick check to a resource such as Wikipedia will reveal this ongoing controversy in Canadian history concerning the execution of the Metis leader in rebelling against the Dominion government.In this second story featuring Wallace Durrant, officer of the Northwest Territory Mounted Police in late Nineteenth Century Canada, Durrant arrives at the site of the final battles of the Riel uprisings and finds himself involved in a murder case that has occurred behind the lines on the base of the Dominion forces. After initial inquiries, Durrant recognizes the failure of the authorities handling the case to follow the required process to eliminate suspects, rather fastening on one man and refusing to look at alternative solutions to the case.Durrant takes it upon himself to do what has been neglected, as he believes the man waiting to hang for the crime is innocent. As Durrant's work continues, he and his friends Saul Armatage and Garnet Mortimer, discern that, far from an ordinary homicide motivated by some grudge, the case is politically founded and connected to the fate of the rebel leader himself. Durrant, his partners, and his friend Charlotte Mason identify three plots related to the Riel trial. The rest of the story consists of unravelling the plots and bringing the conspirators to justice.In this story we learn about the complexity of the Riel case, which is why its resolution continues to be controversial in Canadian history. In the context of this political intrigue we see the NWTMP officers taking sides in the conspiracies resulting in betrayals and close calls with death. Durrant himself gives a clear voice to his understanding of the role of police in political intrigues: find the facts, illumine what is true, and remain impartial. This last is an essential aspect of justice, and if violated, makes travesty of the law. If Legault's fictitious account of the various groupings around the capture of Louis Riel and the scenario each group envisioned as having some grain of truth, impartiality would be the last ingredient to enter the mix.I urge lovers of history and mystery to read The Third Conspiracy, as a fine rendering of a tantalizing puzzle, giving perspective on this major historical event in Canada.
I loved it! The characters were interesting, the plot kept twisting & turning & the landscape & history seemed very real. It was hard to put it down to go to bed when it was late.
The Third Riel Conspiracy Review 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.
If history had been this interesting and exciting when I was in high school, I might have paid attention! Legaults's characters are so rich, Durrant Wallace the one-legged Mountie is irresistible, a bit dark and mysterious, honest and a great hero. There's bit of humour too, very sharp, dry, right on.The plot is intriguing and captivating and the settings are especially real, described by someone who obviously spends time outdoors. The kind of book you can't wait to get under the covers with and leave your day behind...
Tight plotting and action, likeable characters, compelling historical drama... this book has it all. The story features three overlapping and competing conspiracies surrounding the firebrand Metis leader Louis Riel. Legault manages to weave them together with vivid detail of time and place across the Canadian West. The protagonist, a gimpy police investigator who insists on doing things his own way, carries out his duties with objectivity, dedication and compassion.
A pretty interesting whodunit plot, liberally salted with historical details. Rather pedestrian writing and characterization. So now I know a little more about the history of Western Canada, but I was not very entertained.
Great Read!! More Later!
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/13178796
Well done. A lovely follow-up to the End of the Line. Durant's life finally begins to more forward. Great picture of the Riel Rebellion and the undercurrents swirling around it.