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The Black Country by Alex Grecian

>> Friday, March 7, 2014

The Black Country by Alex Grecian

The Black Country by Alex Grecian

Genre: Crime Fiction
Series: #2 in the Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad series
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 384
Source: Copy provided by the publisher

The Short Version:
Inspector May and his Murder Squad are asked to help with a missing persons case in a coal mining town that turns out to be more complicated and dangerous than expected.

Why I Read It:
The first time I heard something about this book on Twitter, I was intrigued and knew I wanted to read it.I really didn’t know much about this book other than the fact that a lot of people I trust thought it was pretty darn good.

The Book:
From the Publisher:

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.

My Thoughts:
Both The Hubster and i enjoyed the first book in Grecian's Scotland Yard's Murder Squad series. The Yard was an interesting blend of police procedural and historical fiction.

This entry in the series takes the major characters out of London to investigate a missing (and likely deceased) person case in a mysterious coal mining town. The plot soon becomes too complicated with too many storylines that take too long to intersect (and in some cases do so only peripherally).

I felt like it was trying to be too many books at the same time with bits of historical fiction, crime story, psychological thriller, gothic mystery, natural disaster story, revenge based suspense, etc.

Despite all that it was an OK book. I still enjoy the banter between Inspector Day and Sergeant Hammersmith and I like the recurring characters. I just didn't find much actual crime investigation in this one. I didn't enjoy it as much as the first and it certainly wasn't great but there were enough things I liked that I'll give the third in the series a try.

2.5 stars Rating 2.5/5


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