The Necropolis Railway

The Necropolis Railway

Book - 2006
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Bright and ambitious, young Jim Stringer moves from the English countryside to London deter- mined to become a railway man. It is 1903, the dawn of the Edwardian age, when steam runs the nation and the railways drive progress. Jim can't believe his luck to have gotten his foot in the door at South East Railway, run out of Waterloo Station. He finds, however, that his duties involve a graveyard shift, literally--a railway line that takes coffins from London morgues to the gigantic new cemeteries being dug in the city's outskirts. He also learns that his predecessor had disappeared and that his coworkers seem to have formed an instant loathing for him. Forced to live by his wits and to arrive at his own deductions--assisted by his landlady, for whom he falls-- he tries to figure out what is going on before he is issued a one-way ticket on the Necropolis Railway.

Publisher: Orlando : Harcourt, 2006.
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9780156030687
Branch Call Number: M MARTIN A
Characteristics: 246 pages ; 21 cm.


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Aug 05, 2017

This is certainly a success in evoking a time and place (London's Waterloo Station area in 1903.) It paints it as grimy, gloomy, dirty, but also bustling -- mostly with trains chugging along interminable viaducts. The inclusion of background on the Necropolis Railway was also pretty interesting, although some trips to Wikipedia helps fill in a lot of detail (too bad the book doesn't include maps of the area.)

That said, I thought the mystery was a little too convoluted, and the inclusion of jargon of the period was, while accurate, jarring. The author needed to put the brakes on all the Edwardian slang and include a glossary of terms, too.

The hero is likeable and just a straight story of his adventures starting out on his journey with the railroad would have been entertaining.

Jun 03, 2017

An incomplete, unsatisfactory ending pushing the reader to next in the series. Not me.


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