Book - 2000
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The year is 1872. The place is Wigan, England, a coal town where rich mine owners live lavishly alongside miners no better than slaves. Into this dark, complicated world comes Jonathan Blair, who has accepted a commission to find a missing man.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2000.
Edition: First Ballantine Books domestic edition.
Copyright Date: ©1996.
ISBN: 9780345422521
Branch Call Number: PB SMITH
Characteristics: 400 pages : maps ; 18 cm


From Library Staff

List - Book Club 2016-17
AuroraPLAdult Aug 10, 2016

Meeting: February 22

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
DBRL_KrisA Jan 09, 2017

I'm a huge fan of Smith's Arkady Renko series (Gorky Park, Red Square, etc.); while this isn't Renko, and doesn't take place in Soviet-era Moscow, I enjoyed it nonetheless. The story takes place in the Victorian-era English coal mining town of Wigan; a local clergyman has gone missing, and Jonathan Blair is tasked with trying to find him. Just like with his Russian novels, Smith does a good job of getting the setting and time of the story right.

Oct 18, 2005

Set in 19th century England, Jonathan Blair is make to go to a mining town where life is brutal and short. Horrific descriptions mingle with every day life in a compelling piece of fiction that I never would otherwise have picked up! Martin Cruz Smith?s affinity with spy novels don?t do anything for me, but this story had me from the very first page. His description of a dinner party in a room lined with coal, contrasts darkly with real life embodied by a very real pit girl named, of course, Rose. Soon the mystery that he is sent to investigate is entangled by his fascination with Rose. The outcome is deeply dark like the coal they are disemboweling the earth for.


Add a Summary
FavouriteFiction Oct 31, 2009

Mining engineer Jonathon Blair returns from Africa's Gold Coast and is asked to solve the mystery of the disappearance of a local curate.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Related Authors


Subject Headings


Find it at APL

To Top