The Black Country

Grecian, Alex

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Black Country
The British Midlands is called the "Black Country" for a reason. Bad things happen there. It's 1890 and when members of a prominent family disappear from a coal-mining village and a human eyeball turns up in a bird's nest, the local constable sends for help from Scotland Yard's new Murder Squad. Inspector Walter Day and Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith respond, with no idea what they're about to get into. The villagers have intense, intertwined histories. 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.

Publisher: New York :, G. P. Putnam's Sons,, [2013]
ISBN: 0399159339
Characteristics: 384 pages ;,24 cm


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Feb 04, 2015
  • JCLHelenH rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Despite too many plot-lines for my taste, I read on and enjoyed. The characters, and details of time and place are what made the story for me.

2014 Kansas Notable Book

Dec 07, 2014
  • forbesrachel rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Secrets run deep in Blackhampton, a town which is slowly sinking into the mud. Its people are superstitious, the tunnels hold more than ore, and three people are missing. Inspector Day, and Sergeant Hammersmith come to their aid, but they couldn't have foreseen how uncooperative the townsfolk would be. Three separate cases are revealed as one in this exciting sequel to the Yard. Unlike the first, things aren't immediately clear. There is a mystery here! The culprits are fairly obvious, but seeing how everything is connected keeps it interesting. Once again, it is the characters that really shine though. The dedicated Hammersmith works himself to the bone, while Day remains open-minded even with so many suspicious people around. London may be full of crime, but the Black Country's darkness courses through many in this town, and it will not leave these outsiders unharmed.

Jun 02, 2014
  • chrismont1953 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Really enjoyed this 2nd book in the Murder Squad series. Can't wait for the 3rd one.

Jan 02, 2014
  • QED rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Depressing book at best. The Yard was a bit better. I suspect I will not be seeking out any further of his works. If you are feeling too happy read this book as you won't be upon conclusion.

Sep 12, 2013
  • Diell rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Early days yet, but agree The Yard sucked me in more, little things distracted me thru this book like lifestyle, maybe I'm being picky but can a watchman afford servants, as in multiple servants? Little discrepancies popped me out of the story. But hey do like the characters.
Michael Cox & Maureen Jennings may like this writer.

Sep 09, 2013

"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 realise that the family's village is slowly sinking into underground mines. By the best-selling author of The Yard." September 2013 Thrillers and Suspense newsletter

Aug 28, 2013
  • Dazio rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

The author's first book, The Yard, I found to more interesting. On a positive note, the author's descriptive style of writing makes you feel as though your are living in Englands's 1890;s. I was a little disappointed.

Jul 17, 2013
  • bostoniannative rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Set in 1890 in England's coal mining country, 2 Scotland detectives arrive to find a family of 3 that includes a young boy. The town's buildings are sinking into the underground coal tunnels and the townspeople, adults and children, are not forthright with their info. Surprise ending and likable detectives.

Jun 07, 2013
  • jac523 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I didn't like this one quite as much as Grecian's first, The Yard. The Black Country happens in a very short period of time and I didn't find that there was as much character driven drama in this one. But overall a solid historical mystery and I'm looking forward to where this series goes.


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