Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco 1906 earthquake and fire’


January 28, 2012

5 OUT OF 5 STARS: A Terrific Ride! By Bruce Haines, January 27, 2012

Ruined City Hall

This review is from: The COPPER-HANDLES AFFAIR: The Great San Francisco Earthquake, Fire and Bank Heist by John Patrick Legry (Paperback)

John Legry starts his book with nothing less than the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and uses it as a springboard for a robbery and chase that leads us North through California, into Oregon, Washington, and beyond. Along the way the thief, John Law Copper, is followed by the clever and resourceful Frederick Handles, Policeman, who tears himself away from his home and city in crisis and a loving wife, to travel through the wilds of the West Coast, in pursuit of a considerable amount of cash taken from a bank partially destroyed and laid open by the earthquake and then coincidentally found by the wily Mr. Copper.

Beyond the chase and Mr. Copper’s narrow escapes, we are treated to an astonishingly well-researched description of real West Coast towns found along the route as Mr. Copper flees his pursuer through places we know from the dust of memory and old photographs. The writer puts us in these myriad locales, vivid and detailed in the reader’s eye to the degree we feel we’re not only being treated to a first-rate bank robbery/chase story, we are also privy to a sociological and anthropological narrative that brings the early part of the century stunningly to life. (more…)