Best kwn for his Jimmie Dale series of books, which have sold more than 3 million copies worldwide, Frank L. Packard first published The Wire Devils in 1918. A wire thriller that uses the booming railroads and telegraph lines of the old West as its backdrop for fast-paced adventure, The Wire Devils follows a criminal gang of the same name who hijack a railroad's telegraph lines to glean information about profitable shipments. But foiling them again and again is the Hawk, the outlaw hero who robs from the robbers and is ultimately on the side of law and order.Combining elements from dime-store vels and Packard's own experience on the rails, The Wire Devils is at once a hybrid western and a thriller still worth reading nearly a century after it was written.
Frank L. Packard (1877-1942) was a widely published Canadian writer of crime fiction. He was the author of nearly thirty books published from 1914 to 1938. Robert MacDougall is associate professor of history at the University of Western Ontario.