The Railway Detective

The Railway Detective

Book - 2005
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In 1851 England, the city of London anticipates the grand opening of the Great Expedition. Excitement is mounting with each engineering triumph of the railways, but not everyone feels like celebrating. A sudden attack hits the London to Birmingham mail train and it is looted and derailed. Planned with military precision, Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck fights to untangle a web of murder, blackmail and destruction. As Colbeck closes in on the criminal masterminds, events take an unexpected turn when the beautiful Madeline, daughter of the injured train driver, becomes a pawn in the criminals game. With time running out, good and evil, new and old, battle against each other. But will the long arm of the law have speed on its side? Full of historical detail, unexpected twists and memorable characters, this is a mystery that will surprise you at every turn.
Publisher: London : Allison & Busby, 2005, c2004
Edition: Paperback edition
ISBN: 9780749083526
Branch Call Number: F MAR NVD
Characteristics: 318 p. ; 20 cm


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Jan 02, 2018

The crime spree starts as a robbery but explodes into acts of terrorism. The author unfolds this police procedural tale in movie-like scenes, with engaging characters, and a touch of witty humour. This crime novel might have been improved by the addition of a simple sketch map of the London-Birmingham railway line showing the relevant station and place names.

Aug 09, 2017

For the most part it's a fun read with a likeable detective and some interesting characters and period detail. The mastermind behind the dastardly deeds is known way before the end of the story, so it's not really a mystery, more a semi-police procedural. I thought it was a little too long and the last section involving the railroad driver's daughter could have been truncated or left out.

Dec 15, 2014

Very pleased with The Railway Detective. I read a couple in the series about detective Robert Colbeck and had to read the initial offering of the series. This one does a good job of filling in the background for the series.
I like Marston's pacing and the cinematic quality of the writing. It is engaging and moves along well. I liked and cared about the characters. I also have been interested in the late 1800's period and the development of modern police work. The advent of the railroads and their effect on society are handled well. Definitely recommend!

Jul 02, 2013

Marston has several series, some of which I liked--some didn't appeal to me. This is the first book in this series. His practice at putting together appealing characters, a complex mystery, and a masterful writing style make this a good read. The detective is Robert Colbeck, who was educated as a lawyer, but decided he'd be more interested in a career as a policeman in the newly formed Scotland Yard. The well done setting is 1851 England and a good deal of railway information is germaine to the plot and presented in an interesting manner. I think I'll be reading the rest of this series.

Dec 21, 2009

good late 1800 who dunnit -- scotland yard and all the victorian age nuances etc.


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Jan 02, 2018

From the 1850s the growing network of steam-drawn railroads were transforming transportation in Britain. Detective inspector Robert Colbeck and, his colleague, Sergeant Victor Leeming, members of the newly-formed Scotland Yard, are challenged to track down the perpetrators of the first Royal Mail train robbery. But why did the robbers derail the locomotive and its tender after the robbery? Will the death of the bludgeoned locomotive driver turn the investigation into a homicide case? Inspector Colbeck suspects that the criminals have malicious plans for the Crystal Palace, the centrepiece of the Great Exhibition of 1851, but can he overcome Superintendent Edward Tallis' skepticism?

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