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

310 customer reviews

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Length: 423 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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: 1507 KB
  • Print Length: 423 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog Publishing (November 9, 2013)
  • Publication Date: November 9, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007M9UM14
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,592 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mark Dawson worked as a lawyer and in the London film industry before writing full-time. His books have been published in multiple languages and have been downloaded more than one million times.

He is currently writing three series.

The John Milton series features a disgruntled assassin who aims to help people to make amends for the things that he has done.

The Beatrix Rose series features the headlong fight for justice of a wronged mother - who happens to be an assassin - against the six names on her Kill List. The series continues with Beatrix's daughter, Isabella, and the Secret Service agent who has taken her in.

Soho Noir is set in the West End of London between 1940 and 1970. The first book in the series, "The Black Mile", deals with the (real life but little known) serial killer who operated in the area during the Blitz. "The Imposter" traces the journey of a criminal family through the period; it has been compared to The Sopranos in austerity London.

Mark lives in Wiltshire, in the UK, with his family.

You can find him at or

You can get his Starter Library - two best-selling novels and two novellas, with hundreds of five star reviews between them - by signing up for his mailing list at:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By The Kindle Book Review on June 13, 2012
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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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Siobian Minish on 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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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Janeyk on October 5, 2012
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Scott Whitmore on 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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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Zuzuzum on January 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I always check reviews before I purchase a book and sometimes I wonder if I'm reading the same book as the reviewers are. Because of the three main characters, two of which are related and their father is in the story as well, the story jumps around following them and is a bit confusing. Secondly the slang is a true hold up in being able to read the story concisely. If I have to stop every other page and search the word then how can a story 'flow' for the reader? And lastly, my biggest complaint is the author himself can't keep his story straight! I see this time and again from indie your dates!! Your readers are smarter then you think! In this story a cop is disciplined over a newspaper article outing him for harrassment in May, subsequently the charges are dropped. One month later in June the journalist is put on the stop by his boss about another article regarding that same cop and the journalist said it happened THREE YEARS ago?? Hello?!? And no one remembers this? Especially an article that resulted in an investigation? His boss doesn't remember and legal never brought in until now over something mundane? Whether one month or three years ago that is a pretty significant event that an editorial staff would remember about a key character in their city! Come on Mr. Dawson,meow does that make sense? I'm not sure I'll finish the book, if I do I'll update my review but for now I'm putting it down.
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