Sunday, August 25, 2013

Review: The Black Country by Alex Grecian

Description (from cover):

'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 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:

I liked this book to a certain extent, but at times it was just weird. The story was a little spasmatic and confusing. I love the time period and the small coal-mining village as setting where the village folk know everybody and everyone's secrets. They are very wary of outsiders and very superstitious. When Day and Hammersmith arrive, the villagers are skeptical that they will be of any assistance in locating a missing family and they team up to shut the policemen out. 

During this book you get several points of views. You get the killer, the policemen and some of the villagers. The reader is left in the dark about several important points and the ending does not wrap up the story well. As far as the solution, it is not even believable and is so far-fetched that it was a lame conclusion. I liked the characters and the setting, but the writing is a little confusing and I think that if the author was somewhat straightforward it would make a lot more sense to the reader. 

To be honest, I wasn't all that impressed with the first book in this series and this second one really didn't restore any good feelings about this series. I will probably read the next in this series out of habit, but I didn't find it to be remotely impressive or engaging. Personally, I think it's the author's way of writing and its complexity that leaves the story lost. I know there are a lot of readers who enjoy this author and this series, it just doesn't work for me.

Overall Rating: 1.5

Title:  The Black Country
Author:  Alex Grecian
Series:  Murder Squad #2
Publisher:  Putnam Adult
Publication Date:  May 21, 2013
Pages:  400
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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