Goodreads review: The Mad Trapper of Rat River

The Mad Trapper of Rat River: A True Story of Canada's Biggest ManhuntThe Mad Trapper of Rat River: A True Story of Canada’s Biggest Manhunt by Dick North

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

This book may appear to be insubstantial physically but true historical crime is not an easy genre to write and author Dick North clearly went to great lengths to accumulate much esoteric information about Albert Johnson/Arthur Nelson. The fact that he was able to structure that information–scant and anecdotal–into a compelling read is impressive. My only complaint is that all the interesting information came in the first 50 or so pages while the rest was, more or less, a geography lesson of northern Canada, which is not uninteresting, at least for me, but this information could have been included in the main action of the story so as to create more suspense.

Altogether, however, North presents an interesting and pretty well thought out argument that Johnson/Nelson were 1) one and the same person and 2) Johnson/Nelson may have been a prolific serial killer–perhaps the most prolific in Canada’s history.

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