The Fate

Richard S. Wheeler, Author Fawcett Books $4.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-449-14784-9
Miles City's doctor and sheriff Santiago Toole, in the Montana Territory, has his first clue that a train on the Northern Pacific railroad has been robbed when masked bandits take him at gunpoint to treat a wounded accomplice. After treating the man, Santiago escapes easily, only to learn that the robbery's victim may offer the greatest impediment to bringing the robbers to justice. Gold-mine owner Ingmar Drogovich, whose shipment of gold bullion was stolen and his daughter, Filomena, taken hostage, has a good idea of the who and the why of this robbery; he also has the wealth and influence to bring in his own ``private army'' and try to hamper Santiago's investigation. Wheeler ( Deuces and Ladies Wild ) cuts into the suspense by revealing details of the robbery early on and seems determined--to the point of didacticism--to let us know whose behavior is good and whose is bad (as in a reference to one of the robbers as ``Angus the Righteous''p. 64 ). However, the Drogoviches make a spicy enough pair: Ingmar is greedy, amoral and criminally dishonest, while Filomena, toting only a sharp intellect and sharper tongue, has her armed captors completely outgunned. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1992
Release date: 04/01/1992
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