The Deadly River
Authored by Jeff Noonan
The Deadly River effectively combines a classic adventure story with both heartfelt emotion and a theme that will leave one thinking long after the book is read. It’s a great read that combines the pathos of a young orphan’s plight with the exhilaration and adventures that come with gun battles and fist fights deep in the Montana mountains. But, far more importantly, this book provides a unique perspective that should cause people on both sides of wilderness environmental issues to seriously consider the effect of ongoing policies and actions. *** It’s the spring of 1959 and a recently orphaned boy, Lee Raines, is hiking into the Montana mountains, attempting to re-connect in a small way with his dead parents. While on this mission, he finds himself stranded in a small logging town which is fast becoming ground zero in national environmental conflicts. Battle lines are being drawn and, when the inevitable war explodes, Lee is in the middle of it. He is forced to grow and mature as he fights for survival. His life is changed forever. Eventually, Lee comes to grips with the loss of his parents. However, as he wanders the mountains, he accidentally witnesses serious crimes; crimes committed by an unscrupulous profiteer hiding behind the confusion of local environmental efforts. Before he can leave town, Lee finds himself in a shooting war, forced to defend himself against powerful, brutal, enemies. Finally the shooting stops and the sheriff makes arrests. Time moves on and the judge passes sentence on the offenders. Only then does Lee realize that the problems were more complex than anyone had realized. Nothing was yet settled. It takes a final gun battle, a battle that results in real Rocky Mountain Justice, to end the war. *** The Deadly River is the second volume of the Rocky Mountain Justice trilogy. The trilogy brings central characters forward through time, although each book is a stand-alone adventure story. The three volumes, which span a time period from the 1940’s through the 1970’s, are as follows: Book #1: Rocky Mountain Justice (The Legend of Camel’s Hump). The year is 1949. Deep in the Montana mountains, four teenagers fight a depraved sheriff in a war that sees death visit both sides. But the sheriff’s gang is too strong for the teens alone, so they turn to two combat-hardened former marines who recruit an Indian Nation to fight alongside them. Some die and some disappear, but the battle is won and a legend is born. *** Book #2: The Deadly River. It’s ten years later, in the same Montana mountains. Two of the original young heroes from The Legend of Camel’s Hump return. Once again, they’re thrust into battle against cold-blooded killers. Lee Raines, an orphan from Pennsylvania, stumbles into the middle of this new battle and becomes the key to their eventual victory. *** Book #3: Home Goes the Warrior. The year is 1974. Lee Raines, now a Navy Lieutenant, has come home after being badly wounded in the Viet Nam jungles. After that experience, he just wants to finish his service, marry his fiancé, and find a quiet home in the suburbs. Instead he finds himself caught between the Mafia and the FBI as he battles thieves, murderers, and a Soviet espionage ring on the mean streets of Philadelphia.
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