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BLACKDOWN: a rollicking historical thriller set in Regency England. by [D. M. Mitchell]

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BLACKDOWN: a rollicking historical thriller set in Regency England. Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 405 ratings

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00FSOTXD8
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Agamemnon Publishing (October 10, 2013)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 10, 2013
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2804 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 294 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 1494855437
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 405 ratings

About the author

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D. M. Mitchell was born into a small mining community in Yorkshire, England. Tin bath, outside toilet, six children, no money, slag heaps and railway embankments as playgrounds. He shone at art and movie-making (winning national competitions in animation with a Super 8 camera his parents bought for him out of their scraped-together savings). His headmaster at secondary school said he had a talent but didn't know what he could do with it, and the career advisor said forget wanting to be an artist, he had two options: go down the mines or become a policeman.

Being scared of the dark and never having much meat on his bones, he declined both careers, and in his early years bounced like a pinball from job to job - warehouses, cinema projectionist, market trader, salesman - you get the picture. As a mature student he graduated at the age of 40 with a First in Social and Employment Studies at Sheffield Hallam. He sort of made a success of himself, eventually becoming Director of England for a UK-wide charity. He now lives in a money-pit of a cottage in a tiny village in the cream-tea-heart of the South West of England. Though he adores Somerset, he remains immensely proud of his working-class Yorkshire roots and has very fond memories of the home town of his youth. It inspired the fictional northern town of Overthorpe (in his Overthorpe trilogy - Max, The Domino Boys and Pressure Cooker).

His first remembered attempt at pushing the boundaries of creative writing was during a school lesson at the age of nine. Titled simply 'Rain' his proud masterpiece began with 'It started to rain' then there followed eight pages of nothing but the words 'pitter-patter', concluding with 'and then it stopped'. Handed over, it was duly reviewed by his brick wall of a teacher, whose eyebrows flickered up and down ominously, his cheeks flushed bright red, before declaring it total rubbish. He tore it up into ribbons, showering him with his first, and no doubt only ticker-tape ceremony, and for good measure gave him a meaty slap around the head (they could do that sort of thing back then). He made him write 'I will not write stupid things for eight pages' for eight pages. Thus he learnt a number of valuable early lessons - the meaning of irony, writing is very subjective, everyone's a critic, and no-one likes a smart-arse.

He persevered, his first novel appearing in 1989 after three years of hard slog, and it disappeared into the attic the same year. It's still up there causing cracks in the ceiling. Many manuscripts later he saved the piles of rejection slips to paper his bare walls. So the adage is, keep at it, you'll soon have the house fully redecorated. Nowadays, writing is the one thing he feels totally comfortable with, except perhaps for a cup of Horlicks on a cold winter's night when the rain goes pitter-patter against the window panes (there it is again...).

Characterisation is an important and noticeable aspect of all Mitchell's novels. It allows him to be whoever he wants to be when he gets fed up of being himself, which is most days. So too is a sense of mystery and the exploration of the darker side to humanity. There are usually strong elements of a complex puzzle to be solved in a D M Mitchell novel, many disparate parts ultimately coming together, tragedy and comedy sitting side by side. As in life, nothing is as it first seems. He takes a keen interest in history, a thread that runs through his writing, whether it's the 1960s or 1970s, as in 'Max' and 'Pressure Cooker', or the Victorian 1880s, as in 'The House of the Wicked'. He recently published a novel based on his Polish father's early life following the invasion of Poland by Russia in 1939. It's called Seven Seeds of the Sunflower and marks a departure from his trademark thriller genre.

His favourite novelists include Barry Unsworth, Thomas Hardy, John Steinbeck and Graham Swift. Top two favourite historical books: Culloden, by John Prebble and The Face of Battle by John Keegan. He also collects first edition novels and takes a keen interest in anything old, tatty and in need of love and restoration. His wife says he needs to get out more.

He has three grown children and also enjoys photography, painting and walking the Blackdown Hills with his wife and two crazy dogs.

He'd like to thank his many fans for their continued faith in him, allowing him to be a writer and sharing in his strange and lurid imaginings.

The story 'Rain' has yet to be published...

DM can be contacted at and he looks forward to hearing from you - anyone! It's lonely in that tiny garret...

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
405 global ratings

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Mrs. Bruce
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good historical adventure
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 2, 2014
2 people found this helpful
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Sarah Hague
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling indeed!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 9, 2014
One person found this helpful
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Silver Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars It keeps you guessing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 25, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars Grabbed me
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 29, 2014
Helen Lancaster (Kindle Customer)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 23, 2014
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