The Necropolis Railway ) starts slowly but builds a head of steam like the monster loc"/>
 

The Blackpool Highflyer

Andrew Martin, Author
Andrew Martin, Author Harcourt $14 (350p) ISBN 978-0-15-603069-4
Reviewed on: 05/28/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007
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Set in 1905, Martin’s second Jim Stringer mystery (after 2004’s The Necropolis Railway ) starts slowly but builds a head of steam like the monster locomotive Jim stokes for “Lanky,” the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. A passenger dies when a huge grindstone on the tracks derails a train carrying the owner of Hind’s Mill on an excursion to seaside Blackpool. Jim begins to suspect class warfare when a young socialist distributes tracts in Jim’s hometown of Halifax, urging workers to shun holidays organized by mill owners. A fallen tree on another rail line further suggests conspiracy, as does the disappearance of smartly dressed Clive, the engine driver on Jim’s next run. Lanky management’s paltry £5 reward hardly seems likely to garner much information, so newlywed Jim turns to comely Lydia, a mill clerk he simply calls “the wife,” for much needed help. Getting used to Jim’s chatty Cockney narration takes time, but as the suspense rises, readers will be captivated. (July)

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