Review of Raildogs by Rejean Giguere


If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Review by Carlton Rolle

Rejean Giguere grew up in Europe and Canada. He is an avid outdoorsman, adventurer, photographer, and artist. He enjoys fishing, hockey, golf, tennis, skiing, and snowmobiling. When able, he loves using his V-Max motorcycle and vintage Corvette. Giguere had a business career in Toronto and Ottawa.

Raildogs is story that is centered on a gang and its turf, railroads. It’s not always going to be easy to get from one place to another. In many cases, with no money at all, people are left to make decisions. This book focuses on the Raildogs as they fight for respect, redemption, hate, and life.

The core of the story revolves gang’s boss members. They are spread in a territory of Western America riding freight trains. They make their living by taking whatever they want from stowaways. In the process, they are beat to a pulp and thrown off the train. These all occur when the train is moving out in rural or open tracks of land. I felt dreadful for people they encountered because many of them were riding away from another sort of oppression. It touched on topics of theft, rape, violence, drug abuse, fear, and homelessness.

The trouble for the gang comes when someone begins murdering members. Giguere leaves little room for the imagination when explaining the methods that gang members were tortured. Each time a scene came up, I cringed thinking about how painful the situations must have been. I found myself saying, “He had it coming.”

The story is written from several other character perspectives. Each of them providing insight into the gang. The officer, Bill, came across the gang after his daughter went missing and presumably killed. Following leads, Bill was able to locate possible suspects to the case. Upon contact with a member, he stumbles into the gruesome scene of their death. He is lead to another suspect and ultimately another murder.

Raul and Maria are a couple taking the freight trains down to Mexico. Most of their trip is quiet until nearing the end, when encountering Raildogs waiting in a trap. The couple gets separated while forced to act being outwitted and outnumbered. Raul calls his fellow gang members to save Maria and he fights to protect himself. Maria is subjected to male aggression and raped by a Raildog boss.

Other characters such as Bart and Danny are riding south to Florida. They met through discovering they were traveling in the same direction. When in route, Danny begins the initiation process of becoming a Raildog. They go separate ways. In his first act, the guys came across the Raul’s gang after the rescue and were beaten to death.

Towards the end, tension builds and it comes into the macro-story. The reader is explained why gang members were murdered. This book is definitely suspenseful. The anticipation kept me going up until the last page. There were several points were I felt myself holding my breath. You knew something bad was going to happen, didn’t want to stop. I became engrossed with wanting to know how and understand the backstory. Another interesting aspect that I enjoyed about this book was that there wasn’t a feeling of justice. Few of the characters had true resolution. I felt like it was the end of the bloody tracks. I wish Giguere went into greater detail with the scenery and surrounding landscape. So much of the book occurs outside. It would add another level of tones to the story.

The story is based within the culture of violence. It opens a portal into the life of members of society who chose to trespass situations and take matters into their own hands. The book reminds me that sometimes you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to get their mind and heart racing. Get lost on along the railroads and find yourself in the hands of the Raildogs screaming “Raildogs Rule!”.

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