Wednesday 6 November 2013

The High Trail

By Rob Hill
Hale, October 2013

With his supply wagon lost at the bottom of a ravine, his men mutinous, and winter weather closing in, Lieutenant Calvin Glaze is facing a desperate struggle for survival in the high mountain passes of the Oregon Trail. As conditions worsen, the young lieutenant comes to realize that he has been set up, and that his mission was always designed to fail.

Facing down unspeakable horror on the high trail, Glaze forces himself to travel beyond the limits of ordinary human endurance to confront the man out to destroy him.

Rob Hill’s descriptions of the extreme conditions Glaze and his small band of troopers find themselves battling are superbly written, placing the reader right there with them, experiencing the deadly cold, the lack of vision, the hunger, and the fear of death. It’s during this strength zapping trek along the high trail that Glaze thinks about his past, horrific events that lead to him being sent on a fools’ mission.

There are many memorable scenes within this tale that will remain in the memory for a long while, such as a deer with a gun (yeap, you read that right) and a meal unlike any the soldiers have had before. It’s on meeting the deer that the book takes on a dark tone that continues until the end when Glaze returns to face his enemy, and it is here that Rob Hill has a great twist to the tale waiting, one I didn’t see coming that finishes the story in style.

With each Rob Hill book I read I find myself eager to pick up another, hoping it won’t be too long before a new one is published. Rob Hill has definitely become one of my favourite Black Horse Western writers and I’d suggest that if you haven’t read any of his work before then The High Trail would be a great place to start.

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