The Trestle is a Kindle Single which I got at the best possible price, free. This is not from Kindle Unlimited (KU), it was a free download offer. The offer is for everyone. It was not made in return for a review.
Ben Woodward writes young adult fiction. After The Trestle Woodward offers a few pages recounting the facts behind the bridge. It exists today, but there are two tracks and a spectator walkway. For those spectators who wander off the walkway and onto the trestle, CCTV provides evidence for an arrest. In the past, there have been deaths on the part of those attempting to cross the single track bridge crossing.
Tom and Will are cousins who share a room on The Will family’s property. Crossing the railroad trestle is a rite of passage for the teenagers. There is an optimal time to cross, such as when a train has just completed the crossing. After that, the boys can expect the next train in thirty to forty minutes. They need to cross in the middle of the night to avoid railroad company security teams. The problem is unscheduled trains. They could appear at any time and if the boys are in the middle of the trestle, they have a big problem. There is a catwalk beneath the trestle but a person has to hang from the trestle and drop to get to it. There is the possibility of missing the narrow catwalk. If they had to try for the catwalk, there are evenly spaced ladders they could use to get back up to the trestle.
Tom and Will decide to cross. But for Tom, it is more than a rite of passage. Tom wants to join his father who had also gone off the bridge in a successful suicide attempt several years earlier. Will has no interest in joining this scheme. When an unscheduled train approaches the boys as they are in the dead center of the bridge, Will and Tom successfully drop to the catwalk, although Will has to grab Tom to keep Tom from falling farther. After the train passes, the boys use a ladder to regain the trestle. Will wants to go back; Tom wants to go forward. Will leaves Tom to return to the starting point. Tom resumes his crossing successfully and waits for a scheduled passenger train to cross. Then Tom begins the return journey, but this time he is alone.
I will not relate what happens next; that would be a spoiler. This is a good book to motivate young readers to read. Woodward builds up the suspense slowly. The reader expects the train. The reader wants to know about Tom’s past and how it will affect the way Tom reacts to the newly emerging danger.
Woodward then offers an excerpt from another tale, Stairway to Danger. Tom and Will find a dead body of a sheriff’s deputy. They were looking for rumored lost and hidden gold from the Shaker family, a family of settlers from many years before. Stairway to Danger is lengthier, 211 pages compared to the 60 page The Trestle. Young readers who liked the short story may want to follow the adventures of Tom and Will in this longer account.