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The Valley of Silent Men

James Oliver Curwood

Book Overview: 

Subtitled: A Story of the Three River Country. James Kent has learned that he is terminally ill with perhaps only days to live, and so decides to confess to a murder and thus save an innocent man. Nobody believes his confession, particularly Marette, a mysterious girl who had shown up at Athabasca Landing only weeks before. Kent’s illness takes a turn and his death is postponed, and he sets about to find out more about the girl, who he ends up falling in love with, although she’ll not reveal her past to him, nor what she knows about the murder. A story of intrigue, suspense, action, and above all, a story of love in the furthest outreaches of the Great White North where three great rivers flow; the Athabasca, the Slave, and the McKenzie, and where somewhere is hidden The Valley of Silent Men.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .But you didn't come to talk religion?"

The lovely head bent still nearer him. He felt an impelling desire to put up his hand and touch her shining hair, as she laid her hand on his forehead.

"I know who killed John Barkley," she insisted. "I know how and when and why he was killed. Please tell me the truth. I want to know. Why did you confess to a crime which you did not commit?"

Kent took time to light his cigar. The girl watched him closely, almost eagerly.

"I may be mad," he said. "It is possible for any human being to be mad and not know it. That's the funny part about insanity. But if I'm not insane, I killed Barkley; if I didn't kill him, I must be insane, for I'm very well convinced that I did. Either that, or you are insane. I have my suspicions that you are. Would a sane person wear pumps with heels like those up here?" He pointed accusingly to the floor.

For the first time the girl smiled, openly,. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A good read that kept my interest the whole time. I think the romance gets a bit gushy at times, but I enjoyed the adventure, mystery and style in which Curwood writes. Even though I was able to guess what would happen a few times, I would read another one of his books.

Another great book by James Oliver Curwood.

Written in 1918 as popular fiction—it is interesting to read from a historical view. It reads like a romance, as intended, but a romance set in the far Canadian north before those territories were easily accessible. The romance is constant like a backwoods soap opera, but the structure of mystery...more

A great story of the north

I love stories of the northwest had great characters plenty of descriptive scenes and a beautiful ending will read more his books.

An interesting read. As a whole I really liked the story. Dissecting the pieces it sometimes gets frustrating because of all the description and extra drama and the thin string that the author sometimes teeters us on to get to the end but overall 4 out of 5 stars because of the story. I'd recomme...more

An old friend of a book. :) This is one of Curwood’s best, an outdoors romance with a strong hero and a warm-hearted, brave heroine. One of his tales of the Three Rivers country.

Oh.my.God! This is silly, and also appalling. What ever was I thinking? I blame it all on my spouse's grandfather, who introduced me to James Oliver Curwood some 49 years ago, when we had just begun courting.

So, Jim Kent, a Mountie, lies in bed. He thinks he's dying, so confesses to having murde...more

Kind of a disappointment. There was too much "sensational" romance in it for me, even though the plot line was interesting. Maybe the next one will be better.:)

Another entertaining novel by James Oliver Curwood. There is absolutely a similar method in many of his novels... rugged, noble, and educated young man, living in the frigid North Canadian wilderness, falls in love with a beautiful and mysterious young woman with perfectly amazing hair. She is sw...more

Too romantic for my taste. And so much unnecessary drama.

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