'Genuinely gripping ...A brilliant evocation of Edwardian working-class life - the sort of thing DH Lawrence might have written had he been less verbose or been blessed with a sense of humour.' Peter Parker, Evening Standard The second Jim Stringer adventure, The Blackpool Highflyer is a suberbly atmospheric thriller of sabotage, suspicion and steam. 'Unique and important ...There is no one else who is writing like Andrew Martin today.' Ian Marchant, Guardian 'Evokes Edwardian Yorkshire and Lancashire, their great industrial prosperity and singular ways of living, quite brilliantly in a historical whodunnit which for its fresh and stealthy approach to past times deserves the adjective Bainbridgean.' Ian Jack, Guardian (Books of the Year) 'A steamy whodunnit ...This may well be the best fiction about the railways since Dickens.' Michael Williams, Independent on Sunday
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(198mm x 127mm x 23mm)
Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
When his train is nearly derailed, a young Yorkshire railwayman once more turns sleuth.Since his previous escapade (The Necropolis Railway, 2007), engine cleaner Jim Stringer has gotten closer to his lifelong dream of driving a train. As fireman aboard The Blackpool Highflyer, he gets to ride alongside rugged driver Clive Carter. In 1905, trains like the Highflyer are growing in importance as modes of transportation, even for the working class. During a trip from Halifax to Blackpool, the train suffers what the press calls a "narrow escape" after someone places a large stone on the track. Clive is heralded as a hero for averting total disaster, but a young woman named Margaret Dyson is killed and her son orphaned in the suspicious accident. Jim is well aware that Clive was driving too fast. So when the train goes on an unforeseen hiatus, Jim, driven by guilt as well as curiosity, decides to investigate. His wife, faithful and intuitive, provides moral and corporal support and a nightly sounding board. Jim's probe provides Martin an excuse to pack the narrative with historical color, as well as a plethora of train lore. Jim encounters radical socialists itching to incite factory hands to an uprising and the possibly corrupt owners who exploit them. Is the death of the 99-year-old chairman of Hind's Mill due to natural causes or a link to the alleged crime?Brisk and atmospheric, the middle volume of a proposed trilogy. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin has written for the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent on Sunday and Granta, among many other publications. His highly acclaimed first novel, Bilton, described by Jon Ronson as 'enormously funny, genuinely moving and even a little scary', was followed by The Bobby Dazzlers, which Tim Lott hailed as 'truly unusual - a comic novel that actually makes you laugh'. In praise of his first Jim Stringer novel, The Necropolis Railway, the Evening Standard said 'the age of steam has rarely been better evoked', while the Mirror described the book as 'a brilliant murder mystery'.