Gutsy Mercy Lynch returns in this sequel to Boneshaker (2009), which begins with her working as a nurse in a Richmond hospital in a strangely extended American Civil War. Her husband has died as a Union POW, and now her father is dying in the Pacific Northwest. She sets out to reach his bedside, first by riverboat and then, from St. Louis onward, by rail. The locomotive Dreadnought is a character in its own right (which reflects the view of “high-tech” at that time), and Mercy also has to deal with hostile Indians, Union and Confederate guerrillas, just plain bandits, and some of her fellow passengers with designs on her virtue and everything else that is hers. The historical setting is finely detailed, the action is nonstop, and Mercy will engage readers of both genders.