A fourteen year old girl of Italian descent living in eastern British Columbia, Canada is promised in marriage to an older man of questionable character. The girl is frightened because of the look she sees in his eyes. From the beginning her husband treats her badly, finally getting her involved with his boss who uses her as a decoy in his bootlegging business in southern Alberta, Canada. When he is cornered by the police he thrusts a gun in her hand and during the confrontation the police officer is shot and the two escape into the forest near the Montana border. He tells her that if she will confess to the murder he will use his money to get her off as he has many government officials on his payroll. She confesses to the murder, but as the authorities have tried for years to break up his racketeering and he too is charged with the murder. They spend their time awaiting trial in separate prisons. They are both sentenced to hang and after many appeals the sentences are carried out. The story is full of local history and geography. The prohibition era in southern Alberta was full of colourful characters and the Italian community was strong and loyal. The author has faithfully used official documents and pictures in this well told book and it was thrilling to the end. The reader's heart ached for the plight of the young girl who was forced into a type of marriage/slavery that could only end in this disaster.
This report prepared by Colleen Naqshbandi