read_warbler (read_warbler) wrote,

The Railway Detective - Edward Marston

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In theory The Railway Detective by Edward Marston should have been a really good book. 1851, the Great Exhibition being planned, lots of Victorian history etc. The London to Birmingham mail train is robbed and then derailed on purpose and Inspector Robert Colbeck and his sidekick are called in to investigate. It promises all sorts on the cover - murky 1850s London, historical detail, unexpected twists and turns, memorable characters. But does it deliver? Nope. I was bored rigid by it, struggled to get to the end in fact. For starters there was no deep sense of place and time whatsoever, could have been *any* time. Then you found out who the culprit was halfway through, which can be okay if the author can keep you interested in *how* the villain is caught. Sadly, Marston didn't manage it. And I hate it when the hero is perfect with no flaws. The good Inspector is one such, I almost felt the author was Mary-Sueing (or the male equivilent) because he was tall dark and handsome, dressed beautifully and, most annoyingly for me, had 2007 sensibilities. It wasn't even good writing, the dialogue was stilted, he overused the word 'that' (one of the very first things [that] I was told not to do when I started writing fanfic) and the text was riddled with typos. But I must be in a minority because this is a prolific author. This is his fourth series and the other three have many books to their name so someone must be buying his work or his publishers wouldn't continue to publish him. It's hard not to be annoyed, partly because I spent good money on it but also I have people on my flist whose writing is far superior to this and who would give their right arm to be a published author. One for the charity shop I fancy. And I need a 'Don't buy this rubbish' icon...
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