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Breakheart Pass

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  1,492 ratings  ·  30 reviews
A magnificent tale of heart-stopping suspense from the highly acclaimed master of the genre.

The Rocky Mountains, Winter 1873…

One of the most desolate stretches of railroad in the West. Travelling along it is a crowded troop train, bound for the cholera-stricken garrison at Fort Humboldt. On board are the Governor of Nevada, the daughter of the fort’s commander and a US mar
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 6th 2005 by HarperCollins (first published 1974)
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Community Reviews

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Please read my complete review at Casual Debris.

When I was a kid in the mid-to-late 1980s my parents were among the last in the neighbourhood, perhaps even the western hemisphere, to purchase that bulky hunk of metal known as a video cassette recorder. Popularly known at the time as a VCR, it was a piece of medieval technology that could both record and play back movies using a cheap, slim strip of plastic encased in a large rectangular hard plastic casing (known as a cassette). Oddly, at times
This happens to be my first one on the Wild West and I must say it leaves me intrigued. Picturesque, sometimes grotesque, this would perhaps be one of his best works. The long, complex sentences told with a monotonicity that is matched only by the Macleanean skill of keeping the reader engrossed, are an added bonus.
If you love the West, the Indians and outlaws, have a read. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Sure, it’s an army train – U. S. Marshall Nathan Pearce knew that before Colonel Claremont refused his request to hitch a ride to Fort Humboldt to arrest Sepp Calhoun. Arresting criminals isn’t the army’s business and Claremont wants no part in it. But when Pearce arrests a man – John Deakin – who is guilty of crimes against the people and the army, Claremont grudgingly allows them onto his train.

As the train hurtles through the uninhabited wilderness towards the remote outpost, it becomes immed
Alistair MacLean is my favorite spy novelist from the 1950s and 1960s. Although this one, veers off into new territory by taking place after the civil war. Still suspenseful and exciting. Still fun. Very nostalgic. I cut my teeth on these when I was in Junior High/High School.
It's a good story, but the quality of the writing is abominable. It reads like a first draft.
This book takes place on an Army train in the American West in the 19th century after the Civil War. The train, under the command of Colonel Claremont, is full of relief troops and supplies, headed to Fort Humboldt, a remote mountain fort in Paiute Indian territory. The train also has on board a Marshall who is escorting a captured Federal prisoner named John Dekin. On its journey, there will be murders, conspiracies, sabotage, ambushes, rooftop fights, and Indians seeking revenge. The action is ...more
Lenny Husen
3.6 is the average rating and exactly right. This was fun, and I can see why it was made into a movie. The female character was less weak than MacLean's usual useless beauties and actually helped the situation. I couldn't put it down.
Definitely a fun beach/pool/recuperating from back injury book.
A good old-fashioned death-or-glory adventure story from the Wild West.
Peter Nathanael
A very good beginning but looses itself towards the end where it becomes too predictable and the thrill is over
J.T. Fleming
This book held no surprises, probably because I've read it several times and seen the movie more than once. Still, I thought the story was good. The plot is okay, and while I would have liked more character development, the characters were believable enough. I recommend it if you're looking for a light western adventure.
Just after the Civil War, an Army relief train speeds to a fort in Indian territory which is reportedly in the midst of a cholera epidemic. As the train approaches, mysterious accidents occur and tensions rise. This one is quite suspenseful and the movie version with Charlie Bronson is fun too.
Derek Durant
This is probably my favourite of Alastair Maclean's later books. It was a book I downloaded to my Kindle and it is great that otherwise out of print books can now be available. I just wish they would make a better job of producing the books as this one was littered with typos.
Fredrick Danysh
A rescue and relief mission to a western fort where the majority of the men stationed there have died. Along for the ride, there is a highly wanted criminal who not wwhat he appears. In the high tradition that Louis L"Amour writes.
Fast-paced, small (192 pages), action packed; to be precise, a typical MacLean thriller (though this one's a western). Not great as some of his other works, mind you, but not boring either.
c1974: One of his later books but still keeping to his standard formula. This is not quite up to his previous stories..but it is still a cracking, if quick, read.
Read this when I was much younger along with a couple of other Alister Maclean books, loved it! A real page turner. Love the movie too!
Not sure about this one, as I prefer his wartime or modern day books, but still quite an entertaining short read
well it was a greatly thrilling mystery i really liked it i would recommend to people who like mystery and westerns
Lee Ann
The movie of this is okay...especially the casting of Charles Bronson...but the book is soooo much better.
Alistair MacLean does a western, and very well, too. The movie did a pretty good job of capturing the story.

This one keeps you guessing.

Charles Bronson played the hero in the movie.

Good reading.
Good book. Charles Bronson made a movie after the book became popular remember?
More of an old western! Unlike most Alistair MacLean novels!
Master of story telling. Entertaining as ever, even rereading it.
Andy Friesen
Been years since I read an Alistair Maclean. Fun to read.
Not great, but a fairly entertaining Western mystery.
Please don't see that awful movie first.
Digvijay Singh
Thrilling, Detailed and Binding.
Arshad Usmani
With a lot of action
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Alistair Stuart MacLean (Scottish Gaelic: Alasdair MacGill-Eain), the son of a Scots Minister, was brought up in the Scottish Highlands. In 1941, at the age of eighteen, he joined the Royal Navy; two and a half years spent aboard a cruiser were to give him the background for 'HMS Ulysses', his first novel, the outstanding documentary novel on the war at sea. After the war he gained an English Hono ...more
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