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I just finished Mark Dawson’s The Black Mile and all I can say is WOW! I wasn’t sure what to expect at first with this book, since it was a different genre from the other books of Dawson’s I had read (the Beatrix Rose series). There are many things I love about this novel.
First – the actual story is compelling. Too often authors are so interested in creating an action packed thriller that they forget that a compelling, believable story is also required. No amount of action takes the place of a good story. Mark Dawson did an awesome job of carefully introducing you to each of the characters, establishing their particular thread of the story, then weaving it all nicely together. Each of the characters’ threads are interesting and I quickly began wondering how all of these characters related to each other. The story moved along at the right pace as the separate parts of the story came together.
Second – the language. The story is set in World War II and Mr. Dawson did an excellent job of using language, word choice, etc. and it made me feel as though I was reading actual news accounts of what was happening in the story. In many cases I found myself enjoying how well written the story was as much as the story itself. I can’t say that about many books I read these days.
Third – The suspense, tension, and twists in the story. For a book set in WWII, I didn’t expect to be at the edge of my seat. Although the pace in the story is reflective of life in the 1940s, I was surprised at how much tension the author was able to create….and what was revealed at the end took my by surprise.
Finally, the narration of the story was great. The narrator’s voice was easy to listen to and I could generally tell the difference between the characters. The only challenge for this narrator was creating convincing female voices. Maybe next time the addition of a second narrator for the female voices would make sense.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Do yourself a favor – Read it!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This is my 12th Mark Dawson novel. The Black Mile is as well written as the books in the John Milton series and the Beatrix Rose series, but the subject matter is not as interesting to me. The Black Mile is a police thriller set in London in the early 1940's
I highly recommend all of Mark Dawson's books. Also, I wish that Audible would make all of the Beatrix Rose series available in audiobook format.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Black Mile again? Why?
Yes, It is an enthralling story. To get a deeper involvement with he story
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Black Mile?
Being at the murder scenes
Which character – as performed by Brian J. Gill – was your favourite?
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
London before the Krays was more deadly
Any additional comments?
The idea base of this story is very good and well written, you feel you are in those dangerous times.
Mark Dawson writes well and this book is no exception, the reader will be captivated by the storyline and
empathise with certain characters while recoiling in horror from others.
I found the story fascinating, the fact it is based on a true story is amazing, and, adds to the gritty realism of those dark days.
Thoroughly recommended reading, a far better writer than certain thriller writers who are household names.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I've loved Mark Dawson's other works, but I'm giving up on this one half way through.
The main reason is Brian Gill's narration, which is close to the worst torture of spoken English since Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins. His mispronouncing of simple words and misreading of phrases has made it unbearable to continue.
The story also seems to have historical inaccuracies, such as the use of plastic sheets and bags to wrap bodies in a story set in WWII London.
Very sorry to have to be so critical, but I'm going to be much more cautious picking new series from old favourites in future.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful