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23 September 2011

The Necropolis Railway (2002)

It was the title that first drew me to "The Necropolis Railway". It looked like it might have some horror-comedy potential. The fact that author Andrew Martin was from Yorkshire was a plus. The clincher, however,  was that the book looked like a light read; I've waded through some monster tomes recently. I needed something more bite-sized.

London Necropolis & National Mausoleum Company

Actually, this book isn't what I'd typically go for.

For a start it's an historical thriller set at the turn of the 20th century... and the story revolves around trains.

This isn't sounding like me at all!

I will admit that I was questioning my decision right up until about half way through the book.

Andrew Martin

The Necropolis Railway is the first in what looks to have turned into a series of at least seven books. The star is the youthful and intelligent Jim Stringer... a man with ambition. This proves to be an almost lethal combination for him as he finds himself unwittingly embroiled in some dastardly plot involving the Necropolis Railway.

The Necropolis Railway is real... or at least it was real. It opened in 1854 with the sole purpose of taking the dead from London and transporting them to Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey. London's creaking cemeteries were deemed too full to cope at the time, and this was the solution. Those clever Victorians!

Necropolis Train

Back to the story...

Something's not right in the yard. Necropolis Railway staff are going missing or being murdered... or both! What on Earth is going on?

Well, Jim Stringer's the man to find out!

It's a slow and laboured journey. There's a lot of train and Railway detail. And right up until about half way through, not a great deal actually happens. Andrew is setting us up for what he hopes is a riveting, roller-coaster second half. It is a roller-coaster ride... but one without height restrictions.

Necropolis Railway

I could see this story being snapped up by TV. They love their period dramas. It would need the characters to be beefed up a bit, and maybe a few stronger story arcs, but it could be done. Don't know if I'd watch it though...

Are you picking up that I'm kind of luke warm about the book? I haven't got much to say about it; I didn't learn much from this read and whilst I got through it quickly, it hasn't left a lasting impression. Ho hum.

Will I hunt down book 2?

No... But I might waver in a weak moment if it just happened to be there on the shelf... and the price was right...

On the Triple-B I'm going to drink 4 brain-dusters and then try and to spoon with my landlady. Do you reckon I'm in with a chance?

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