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The Black Mile (Soho Noir Thrillers, #1) [Kindle Edition]

Mark Dawson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.78
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description


London, 1940: the Luftwaffe blitzes London every night for fifty-seven nights. Houses, shops and entire streets are wiped from the map. The underworld is in flux: the Italian criminals who dominated the West End have been interned and now their rivals are fighting to replace them. Meanwhile, hidden in the shadows, the Black-Out Ripper sharpens his knife and sets to his grisly work.

Henry Irving is a disgraced reporter on a Fleet Street scandal rag. Genius detective sergeant Charlie Murphy is a fresh face in the Metropolitan police, hunting corrupt colleagues but blinkered by ambition and jealousy. His brother, detective inspector Frank Murphy, searches frantically for his runaway daughter, terrified that she will be the killer's next victim.

As the Ripper stalks the terrified streets, the three men discover that his handiwork is not quite what it seems. Conspirators are afoot, taking advantage of the chaos to settle old scores. The murders invade the lives of the victims and victimizers on both sides of the law, as everyone is sucked deeper and deeper into Soho's black heart.

Based on a little known true story, The Black Mile is a rollercoaster ride of a novel that was previously the most downloaded novel on the Kindle Store.

If you enjoy the thrillers of James Elroy, Peter James and Dennis Lehane, you'll love THE BLACK MILE.

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Mark Dawson

'A brilliant debut novel from a very promising writer.' Subject

'Ultra-addictive, super-stylish - a viciously good novel.' Toby Litt.

'A talent to be watched.' Birmingham Post

Praise for The Black Mile

'This is far and above the best small/independently published novel I have ever had the pleasure of reading.' The Kindle Book Review

'Dawson has shown himself to be a true master of suspense'. Siobian Minish

'A first class historical mystery.' Luke Walker

'This book is worth it for the arcane London slang alone. Fascinating. If want to get a feel for what it was like during the early part of WWII this will knock you out. If you like character development you'll love it. If you like peeking in on the lives of people in a long gone world -- you really love it.' David E Johnson

About the Author

Mark Dawson, a London-based lawyer who once DJed at world-famous Hacienda, is also author of The Art of Falling Apart and Subpoena Colada, and lives in Wiltshire.

Product Details

  • File Size: 533 KB
  • Print Length: 423 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1482051346
  • Publisher: Black Dog Publishing (November 9, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007M9UM14
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,812 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
This is far and above the best small/independently published novel I have ever had the pleasure of reading, in addition to being well written, extremely gripping and packed out with believable characters, Dawson also includes a fantastic (albeit almost anticlimactic) twist that I thought was extremely clever, I didn't see it coming and it added a great deal to the strength of the novel.

The three main characters' intertwined stories are told in separate chapters, whilst all the while the reader is also wondering about the infamous Black-Out Ripper, who is he and where is he right now?

With the darker side of the law and its enforcement displayed in full force, I was hooked from beginning `til end and had a particular soft spot for Charlie's character who, despite his flaws, worked especially well for me.

The historical accuracy of this novel also had me engrossed. It's hard to believe that whilst London was being attacked by World War Two bombers; petty and even more serious criminals were still wreaking havoc throughout the city and causing a huge deal of trouble for the Met.

This novel is extremely gritty, doesn't shy away from the reality of brutal murderous crime and had me absorbed from beginning to end. The ending itself is absolutely perfect and the author provides a fitting conclusion.

My only small misgiving is that one particular loose end isn't tied up and it seemed a shame when the rest of the novel was so tight.

Beth Townsend - The Kindle Book Review
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting thriller June 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Even though WWII is going on and Britain is being bombed nightly, London's criminal life doesn't let up. During the black-out, the city is plagued by a murderer dubbed the "Blackout Ripper" and the police are doing everything they can to find him and stop him. However, every lead on the case opens more doors and inquiries only lead to more questions. Henry Drake is a journalist who can smell the accolades he will receive by being the one to print the identity of the Blackout Ripper. Charlie Murphy has lived in his brother's shadow his entire life and knows that finding the murderer would lead to him being the brother on top. Meanwhile, Charlie's brother Frank just wants to find the man menacing his city before he kills again. Though they aren't working together, it will take these three men to find out who the madman is and stop him from committing more crimes.

Though I, and everyone else for that matter, am aware of Jack the Ripper, I had never heard of the Blackout Ripper. Through research (and by research I mean googling it) I learned a bit more about this killer and his spree. The real life killer was the basis for this novel, but this isn't a novel about the actual events. I will admit that it took me a while to get into the novel. The article snippets at the beginning confused me and it took a while to get a handle on the characters, but once I got past that I found that I couldn't put the book down. There were so many twists and turns that I was frantically clicking the "next page" button on my Kindle to find out what happened next. Dawson has shown himself to be a true master of suspense, leaving the reader hanging, wanting to find out what happens with one scene while following another character who, seemingly, has nothing to do with the other scene.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So good I've read it twice - London, Soho, Crime, Vice October 5, 2012
By Janeyk
Format:Kindle Edition
I was recommended to read this by a friend, and was unaware of the author Mark Dawson, so I went into it not knowing what to expect.

The book is compelling,and I happily created time in my day to read it. The level of detail, the unexpected twists & turns keep you gripped from start to finish. The 1940's lingo brings a reality to the setting and the grimy side of Soho was brought alive.

I have read the book a second time, testament to how engaged I became with it.

I will be looking for, and reading more, from this author
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire September 7, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was born in London in the early 50s and no-one, but no-one, spoke the way this author would have us believe. It's absolute rubbish. In addition, he has no idea that in wartime there was no such title as "Ms." It was an American Women's Lib. movement invention in the 60s or that "sport" is actually an Australian slang term. It is not "sunny jim" but "Sonny Jim" ... and this was all over the first few pages. Add to that he can't keep up with his own numbers ... one minute there are four officers dismissed, and a few pages later, six. I just got so angry with his pretentiousness and sloppy writing that I put the book down and won't be picking it up again. Utter drivel. Don't waste your money or time.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric crime thriller set in London during The Blitz December 31, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Set just before and during The London Blitz, when the German Luftwaffe tried to bomb Britain out of World War II, The Black Mile by Mark Dawson is a crime thriller told from three perspectives

Brothers Frank and Charlie Murphy are police officers, and Henry Drake is a newspaper reporter with more than a few secrets, but all three are looking for The Blackout Ripper, a serial killer murdering prostitutes in the seedy West End of London.

I'm a fan of the British TV series Foyle's War, which also involves the premise of the police "carrying on" and catching criminals against the backdrop of a world war. Like that excellent series, The Black Mile has plenty of atmospheric touches to keep the reader immersed as well as more than a few plotlines and red herrings along the way.

In what I think is a bold move, the author left several threads unresolved. I'm not sure if a sequel is planned, but I found the lack of closure to be realistic considering the circumstances.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Serial murder while being bombed by Germany
Fascinating murder mystery set during the early days of the London Blitz. Who are the good guys...who are the bad guys? Read more
Published 2 hours ago by Robert Casamajor
4.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend this book for those who like suspense
This read has many twists and turns. Hard to put down , I would recommend this book for those who like suspense.
Published 2 days ago by Bryan DeBais
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
The Black Mile
Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
I enjoyed reading this book and am looking foward to the next in the series.
Published 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Different but a good read!
This book will keep your interest for the entire book. The different characters and their stories will keep the reader engaged. Read more
Published 1 month ago by charlotte miller
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Exciting
A fairly good story and with an English twist. The prose was somewhat average and the mystery of the book never develop. A decent read but not much more.
Published 1 month ago by Bill Troutman
4.0 out of 5 stars No black and white characters here...
Reality is not black and white and neither are the characters in The Black Mile. I found this story and the characters to be engrossing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside look at the dark side of war time London Police
Definitely a page turner, a police family fought up in the corruption a great police force. Set in the early days of World War II . Read more
Published 2 months ago by Janet Ptaszek
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok
Having read Dawson's John Milton series, I was looking forward to reading this series as well. I got about a third of the way through this book, and stopped reading it because... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Craig A. Munns
5.0 out of 5 stars If Amazon had a 6 star rating I'd have used it.
An amazing work. I've read a number of Mark Dawson's other novels and have given mixed reviews, but this is book is perhaps the best mystery novel I've ever read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mark S. Lawler
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More About the Author

Mark Dawson has worked as a DJ and lawyer and currently works in the London film industry. He lives in Wiltshire with his family.

He is currently writing two series. The John Milton series features a disgruntled assassin who aims to help people to make amends for the blood on his hands. The Soho Noir books are set in the West End of London between 1940 and 1970. It has been compared to The Sopranos in austerity London.

You can find him at or

You can get a free copy of one of his books by signing up for his mailing list at:

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