Review: The Black Country by Alex Grecian

The Black Country by Alex Grecian15814167

Published: May 21st 2013 by Putnam Adult
Format/Source: Purchased hardcover
Genre: Adult historical fiction mystery
Pages: 384


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 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. . . .


I’d give this 2.5 stars…somewhere between it was okay and I liked it.

I really wanted to like it. It had the makings of a good British murder mystery. A Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Lynley, Morse, Lewis, Poirot, etc. I love mysteries like those.

But here’s the thing: the setting was more memorable than any of the characters. The townsfolk are superstitious. There’s a creepy children’s rhyme about a children-killer. The town slowly sinking into the coal mining tunnels. There are suspicious characters galore.

And yet, the story fell flat for me. That is not to say it lacks some action–there is plenty of gore and violence to make it worthy of a pre-Halloween read. But the detectives are strange characters for me. I suppose some of their actions are the product of a detective agency in its infancy/growing up/evolving. But they act like you’d expect amateur detectives to, by running off without really working together, getting into ridiculous situations.

I should have ended the book with a feeling of ‘wow’, or perhaps some lamentation about the human condition. Instead, I nodded my head and closed it up and put it directly back on my bookshelf. Now, time for lunch.

My rating: 2.5/5


Book Blast & Giveaway: The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr

This is one of those books that I had looked up a while ago when I was trying to become more aware of some books coming out this year. It’s very interesting and I am excited to be able to highlight it.


17393014 (1)The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr

Published: October 8th 2013 by Flux
Genre: Young Adult mystery
Pages: 305

Buy it! Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


Behind-the-scenes secrets could turn deadly for Desmond and Riley.

Life in the Heights has never been easy for seventeen-year-old Riley Frost, but when she’s publicly dumped and outed at the same time, she becomes an immediate social outcast at her high school. So Riley swears off romance and throws herself into solving the shocking murder of her favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn.

Riley turns to her best friend, budding filmmaker Desmond Brandt, for help. What she doesn’t know is that Dez has been secretly directing her life, blackmailing her friends, and hoping his manipulations will make her love him. When his schemes go too far, Dez’s web of lies threatens to destroy both of their lives.

About the Author:

Dawn Klehr began her career in TV and though she’s been on both sides of the camera, she prefers to lurk behind the lens. Mostly, she loves to get lost in stories –in film, the theater, or on the page – and is a sucker for both the sinister and the sappy. She’s currently channeling her dark side as she works on her next book.

Dawn lives in the Twin Cities with her funny husband, adorable son, and naughty dog. The Cutting Room Floor is her debut YA novel.

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