Bill Pronzini: Wildfire (USA 2015)
From the Publisher:
Logspur is a small and dangerously isolated community in the rugged logging country of northern California. The town's lumber baron, Henry Johnston, is a fanatic right-wing paramilitarist who has a cache of illegal weapons and ammo in two old freight cars. The ordnance is slated for a secret bivouac in Florida. Three hardcase criminals-Zacharias, Frame and Tully-get wind of the cache and, in an attempt to hijack it, cause an explosion. In a matter of minutes the town is encircled by an inferno. Steve Hannigan, a would-be writer and dropout from life, helps to organize the townspeople for the only way out: an antique Baldwin locomotive that, miraculously, still runs. He and the other men attach the two passenger cars that are coupled to the freight cars. They are unaware of the deadly shipment they will be hauling through the long miles to the county seat at Springwood. They are also unaware that Zacharias and Tully have boarded the train, still determined to hijack its lethal contents.
The tension of the fiery race on buckling tracks and across burning bridges is heightened by the antagonism between Hannigan and Jim Maxon, an embittered one-legged logger whose wife, Regina, is in love with Hannigan. The friction inside the cab leads to near disaster when they are only a few miles from safety.
Bill Pronzini: Wildfire. Speaking Volumes, ISBN 9781628151978 (June, 2015), 242 p., $15.99, eBook $4.99.