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The Black Country (Scotland Yard's Murder…
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The Black Country (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad) (edition 2013)

by Alex Grecian

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4515535,430 (3.63)45
Member:TheCriticalTimes
Title:The Black Country (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad)
Authors:Alex Grecian
Info:Putnam Adult (2013), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Black Country by Alex Grecian

  1. 10
    In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff (4leschats)
    4leschats: Early development of forensics and detection
  2. 00
    The Man with a Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes (4leschats)
    4leschats: While set years apart, the dynamic of Scotland Yard coming into a small town and staying at a local pub house reminded me a great deal of the Richard Jury novels.
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» See also 45 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this second book in Grecian's Murder Squad series, but I felt it was lacking compared with The Yard. The two main characters (Inspector Day and Hammersmith are back, dealing with a case outside of London, having been called in by the local Constable. The story was interesting, with some nice twists, but I felt that this second offering was not as good as the first book in the series. Mostly, because the story focused on Day and Hammersmith, some of the other characters that made The Yard such a fun read were missing. We are given passing nods to Day's wife, and while Dr. Kingsley makes an appearance, his daughter - whose character I really enjoyed from The Yard - is absent from this story. In addition, there were some lose ends that did not get addressed in the conclusion of the story (like what happened to the local Constable - the reader knows, but this was never resolved for our intrepid Scotland Yard detectives). If you enjoyed The Yard, this is a fine follow on story, but for me it lacked the punch that made The Yard such an enjoyable read. ( )
  GeoffHabiger | Jun 13, 2018 |
The Black Country is the second book in Alex Grecian’s Scotland Yard Murder Squad series featuring Inspector Walter Day and Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith. This time they are headed to the coal mining town of Blackhampton in what is known as the “Black Country.”

Coal miner Sutton Price, his second wife Hester, and their young son have unexpectedly vanished, leaving their three other young children alone. The local constable, who believes the missing Prices to be dead, has searched the village for their bodies without success. He believes their bodies may never be found because so much of the land is filled with underground coal tunnels. In another story-line, many of the town's residents have come down with a mysterious disease. The villagers have their own superstitions which seem to govern their existence, but Day and Hammersmith both know there is a real killer out there. There are also two "interlude" chapters where we find out some interesting backdrop history on two of the characters.

This is an excellent historical mystery with a very complex plot. I enjoyed the way the way the author gave us a look at the early forensics of the time and filled his story with authentic Victorian atmosphere. I was completely hooked by the story which had plenty of menace and mystery to keep the pages turning very quickly. The characters were richly developed and this story will appeal to fans of historical Victorian mysteries.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Aug 9, 2017 |
Scotland Yard's Murder Squad is back and a new case brings forth Kingsley, Day, and Hammersmith to a strange English township that seems to have a life of its own, and toils on its residents. The eponymous Black Country weighs down even on the most forbearing visitors, which is unfortunate for the investigating party. As a whole, this novel is a sincere follow-up to its predecessor, it is an offbeat tale that furthers the Murder Squad team for future stories. ( )
  Hanneri | Aug 14, 2016 |
It took me a little bit to remember the characters of this series but once I did, I found this book enjoyable. It's always interesting to see how backwards medicine thinking was back then. To use leaches to drain an illness from someone. This town is built over tunnels that coal miners are digging and the town is slowly sinking into the tunnels. There are missing people, murders and a horrible blizzard. There were a couple things that didn't get resolved but all in all not bad. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
This is the second entry in Grecian's Victorian Scotland Yard Murder Squad series, featuring Inspector Walter Day, Sargent Nevil Hammersmith and Dr. Bernard Kingsley, pioneer of forensic medicine. It's set in the Midlands, in a small town where superstition reigns, there's "something" in the water, people disappear, and buildings periodically sink into the mines. Dark, chilling and thrilling. Occasional colloquialisms sounded much too 20th century American to me, but overall I was totally "there" (to the point of claustrophobia during a trip down a well). I ripped through it.
Review written in January 2014 ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Jun 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
. . . , this second in the series
moves at a brisk pace, with surprising plot twists right up to the very end. Grecian's
riveting novel is an intelligent historical thriller. . . .
added by 4leschats | editBooklist, Jen Baker (pay site) (May 1, 2013)
 
Grecian packs in almost more plot than a body can stand, but he presents with fine precision the gray and gritty atmosphere of late-Victorian England
added by 4leschats | editKirkus Review (pay site) (May 1, 2013)
 
The novel's varied relationships balance pathos with humor and point up lessons on human responsibility -- on what we owe to those with whom we're connected
added by 4leschats | editPublisher's Weekly, Seth Fishman (pay site) (Apr 8, 2013)
 
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Epigraph
Rawhead and bloody bones
steals naughty children from their homes,
Takes them to his dirty den.
And they are never seen again.

- Black Country Children's Rhyme
Dedication
For Graham, who is not allowed to read this until he is much older
First words
It was an unusual egg.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399159339, Hardcover)

Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad returns, in the stunning new historical thriller from the author of the acclaimed national bestseller The Yard.

The British Midlands. It’s called the “Black Country” for a reason. Bad things happen there.

When members of a prominent family disappear from a coal-mining village—and a human eyeball is discovered in a bird’s nest—the local constable sends for help from Scotland Yard’s new Murder Squad. Fresh off the grisly 1889 murders of The Yard, Inspector Walter Day and Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith respond, but they have no idea what they’re about to get into. The villagers have intense, intertwined histories. Everybody bears a secret. Superstitions abound. And the village itself is slowly sinking into the mines beneath it.

Not even the arrival of forensics pioneer Dr. Bernard Kingsley seems to help. In fact, the more the three of them investigate, the more they realize they may never be allowed to leave. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:28 -0400)

When members of a prominent coal-mining family go missing, Scotland Yard's Murder Squad teammates Inspector Walter Day and Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith, aided by newly arrived forensics pioneer Dr. Bernard Kingsley, investigate dark secrets and realize that the family's village is slowly sinking into underground mines.

» see all 4 descriptions

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