To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
First published in the U.K. in 2002, Martin's U.S. debut offers smooth prose, but suffers from its callow, 19-year-old protagonist, Jim Stringer. In 1903, Stringer leaves York for London to make something of himself on the railway, a consuming passion of his for years. Despite his letter of reference from a director of the London and South Western Railway, Stringer receives a hostile reception at Necropolis Railway and is soon delegated to dirty scut work connected with the transport of coffins to nearby cemeteries. When he learns his predecessor mysteriously disappeared, Stringer pursues an amateur investigation that turns dangerous after several people turn up dead. Basil Copper made better use of the creepy, atmospheric Necropolis Railway setting in his 1980 novel, Necropolis, and the almost impossibly naïve Stringer stumbles on the truth rather than displaying genuine cleverness. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
When this creepy-crawly suspense tale was originally published in the UK last year, the London Times called it "a classy potboiler . . . in the best traditions of Dickens and Collins (let alone Christie and Chandler)." There may be just a touch of hyperbole there, but the novel is certainly worthy of praise. The atmosphere is first-rate: Martin does a stunning job of bringing to life the era when steam locomotives chugged from London through the British countryside. And he intensifies by giving his hero, Jim Stringer, a job on one of those trains--not just any train but the one that carries bodies from London to burial on the city's outskirts. A refugee from the poverty of Yorkshire, Jim had been reduced to cleaning women's lavatories in railway stations before getting his big break and landing on the Necropolis Railway, where he endures hostile coworkers and working conditions only slightly better than those in the toilets. Even worse is his growing suspicion that a former worker may have met with foul play. The lurid tone and Jim's growing uneasiness lead to a supremely scary climax. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
I liked the historical part, but thought it could have used a little more detail there. The plot was okay, but not great.Published on July 28, 2013 by Cinnamon10785
Set in 1903 London, the story revolves around an ambitious young lad, Jim Stringer, who is hired to work as a cleaner for the London and South Western Railroad. Read morePublished on March 21, 2013 by Jeanette Thomas
A reviewer here noted that this book has elements that should make it a good read, including trains. Read morePublished on January 31, 2008 by Photos
Seldom have I read drivel of this magnitude. It was beyond bad; drunk lobotomy patients could have written something more believable & entertaining than this tripe. Read morePublished on September 19, 2007 by Theone Hartwig
I love authenticity in historical fiction and respect the research that authors do in order to achieve an atmosphere rich in accurate detail. Read morePublished on June 4, 2007 by Skydog