Breakheart Pass is a novel by Alistair MacLean, first published in 1974. It was a departure for MacLean in that, despite the thriller novel plot, the setting is essentially that of a western novel, set in America in the 19th century. Fans of Maclean will recognize the usual plots twists, thrill-packed finale, and trademark sardonic dialogue. Unfortunately, for American audiences, Maclean was less successful capturing an authentic tone of the frontier American West, and the 1975 movie version proved to be more popular with fans than the novel.
As the journey continues we slowly learn that all is not what it seems, and that none of the characters is telling the whole truth. Maclean meticulously obliterates the lines defining exactly which characters are the good guys are and which are the bad. As the story winds down the cunningly deviousness nature of the plan is finally revealed.