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Above the Falls

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In May 1936, George Dalziel flew far up the Nahanni River to check on Bill Eppler and Joe Mulholland, who were working one of his traplines. He found their cabin burned to the ground and no sign of them anywhere. What had happened to the healthy young men? Had there been an accident, or was a killer on the loose? Dalziel, known as The Flying Trapper, had a successful trappi In May 1936, George Dalziel flew far up the Nahanni River to check on Bill Eppler and Joe Mulholland, who were working one of his traplines. He found their cabin burned to the ground and no sign of them anywhere. What had happened to the healthy young men? Had there been an accident, or was a killer on the loose? Dalziel, known as The Flying Trapper, had a successful trapping operation along the Flat, South Nahanni and Liard rivers. Using his small airplane to locate areas rich in marten and beaver, he would leave his men in this wild country and drop in from time to time to check on them and fly out the pelts. The authorities wanted to shut Dal down. So when he saw the burned-down cabin, he knew he was in trouble. In Above the Falls, a suspenseful, fact-based novel, John Harris uses RCMP reports and the testimony of local trappers to paint a vivid picture of a gripping winter chase, an unsolved mystery and a now-vanished lifestyle in the great northern wilderness.


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In May 1936, George Dalziel flew far up the Nahanni River to check on Bill Eppler and Joe Mulholland, who were working one of his traplines. He found their cabin burned to the ground and no sign of them anywhere. What had happened to the healthy young men? Had there been an accident, or was a killer on the loose? Dalziel, known as The Flying Trapper, had a successful trappi In May 1936, George Dalziel flew far up the Nahanni River to check on Bill Eppler and Joe Mulholland, who were working one of his traplines. He found their cabin burned to the ground and no sign of them anywhere. What had happened to the healthy young men? Had there been an accident, or was a killer on the loose? Dalziel, known as The Flying Trapper, had a successful trapping operation along the Flat, South Nahanni and Liard rivers. Using his small airplane to locate areas rich in marten and beaver, he would leave his men in this wild country and drop in from time to time to check on them and fly out the pelts. The authorities wanted to shut Dal down. So when he saw the burned-down cabin, he knew he was in trouble. In Above the Falls, a suspenseful, fact-based novel, John Harris uses RCMP reports and the testimony of local trappers to paint a vivid picture of a gripping winter chase, an unsolved mystery and a now-vanished lifestyle in the great northern wilderness.

42 review for Above the Falls

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shonna Froebel

    The story in this book is based on real people and real events in Canada's north. Harris has researched this well, and provided capsules on each person at the end of the book. The setting is up in the Northwest Territories above the South Nahanni river at the lakes named Rabbitkettle and Glacier in 1936. The bush pilot George Dalziel (Dal) was known as the flying trapper, as he flew men to his traplines and gave them a cut of what he got from their work. There was a movement to close down this so The story in this book is based on real people and real events in Canada's north. Harris has researched this well, and provided capsules on each person at the end of the book. The setting is up in the Northwest Territories above the South Nahanni river at the lakes named Rabbitkettle and Glacier in 1936. The bush pilot George Dalziel (Dal) was known as the flying trapper, as he flew men to his traplines and gave them a cut of what he got from their work. There was a movement to close down this sort of activity as it was seen as encroaching on the natives' livelihood. Two trappers that Dal set down at his line disappeared near the end of the season, with their cabin destroyed. Harris takes that unsolved event and makes a story for it. The story is one that could have been true, and the events surrounding it are described well, with as much basis in fact as possible. I found this interesting as it is an area and time that hasn't had a lot written about it, and thus opens new territory in Canadian literature. The conversations are well-written and flow and the story is made interesting for more than just the mens' disappearance.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mindy

    Very interesting story. Not the mystery that the cover implies it is, but I still found it fascinating. It was very interesting to learn how men would spend many months alone or with a partner trapping or prospecting in these spectacular remote locations, of which today is Nahanni National Park Reserve. The writing is a bit dull - not as captivating as I hoped, but a very interesting (true) tale of the past.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse

    A short book, this was a look at a long-ago way of doing things. The characters were all based on fact, so they were very relatable. Favourite Quotes: "It was the old dream that he could never shake, that made him fear sleep." "I'll stay in bed for a week, he thought. Give my luck some time to change." "If you couldn't make a living you could at least have an adventure." "If you break it a few times and get away with it, you keep on breaking it." (Clark to Kraus on the law) "Not a death certificate, A short book, this was a look at a long-ago way of doing things. The characters were all based on fact, so they were very relatable. Favourite Quotes: "It was the old dream that he could never shake, that made him fear sleep." "I'll stay in bed for a week, he thought. Give my luck some time to change." "If you couldn't make a living you could at least have an adventure." "If you break it a few times and get away with it, you keep on breaking it." (Clark to Kraus on the law) "Not a death certificate, but in this country what usually amounted to the same thing: a missing- persons report."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

  5. 4 out of 5

    Keli

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sky

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katie Lutzke

  9. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul Dunlop

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vaughn Family

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kelseyrae

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tracerlee

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bea Lepine

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jason Deveau

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ambrose

  18. 4 out of 5

    Al

  19. 4 out of 5

    Judith

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michele

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mark Hannah

  22. 5 out of 5

    Warren Layberry

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pebstone

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lori

  26. 4 out of 5

    TheSUn

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marga Vr

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ambdkerr

  31. 5 out of 5

    Vero

  32. 4 out of 5

    Michele Houlihan

  33. 4 out of 5

    Baillie

  34. 4 out of 5

    Ali

  35. 5 out of 5

    Christe

  36. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Morgan

  37. 5 out of 5

    Pajd

  38. 4 out of 5

    River

  39. 4 out of 5

    Wilma Pyette

  40. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

  41. 4 out of 5

    Steve Martindale

  42. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Letourneau

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