Monday, December 19, 2022

The Railway Murders by J R Ellis Book Review

About the Book:

When a film shoot on Wharfedale’s vintage railway turns into a grisly crime scene, DCI Oldroyd’s idyllic visit to the countryside with his partner Deborah is well and truly stopped in its tracks. One of the film’s stars has been shot dead in a train carriage while the cameras rolled outside. But nobody else went in―or came out. Has the killer really pulled off the perfect, impossible crime?

Scouring the victim’s past for clues, Oldroyd soon unearths a string of heartbroken lovers and a mountain of unpaid debts, each adding to the growing list of suspects. But before he can determine who the culprit is, there’s the small matter of figuring out how they did it. A potential connection to a previous tragedy offers Oldroyd a much-needed lead…

Whoever the perpetrator is, they are ruthless and determined to avoid detection, and when a railway worker starts joining the dots, they are quickly silenced―for good. But as Oldroyd gets ever closer to the truth, it’s only a matter of time before he is given a chilling warning to back off.

Perhaps Deborah should have stayed somewhere safe…

My Review:

This was a good mystery with an unusual locked room type of murder. I found Ellis' writing style straight forward and not sophisticated. There were a few oddities, such as characters addressing each other by name in almost every statement during a dialogue. That seemed odd as most people do not talk that way. Also, the police detectives laughed many times at the murder seen. I can take detectives smiling or even chuckling when coming upon a murder but laughing just did not seem right.

There is quite a bit of the story taken up with side issues, about the railroad, birds, and so on, not pertinent to the plot. As to the plot, past information comes to light late in the book, sort of out of the blue, which allows the murder to be solved quickly. Readers are precluded from figuring it out as the clues are few.

This is a good mystery for readers who don't mind distractions in the plot and an unsophisticated, straight forward writing style.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

About the Author:

John R. Ellis
has lived in Yorkshire for most of his life and has spent many years exploring Yorkshire’s diverse landscapes, history, language and communities. He recently retired after a career in teaching, mostly in further education in the Leeds area. In addition to the Yorkshire Murder Mystery series, he writes poetry, ghost stories and biography. He has completed a screenplay about the last years of the poet Edward Thomas and a work of faction about the extraordinary life of his Irish mother-in-law. He is currently working (slowly!) on his memoirs of growing up in a working-class area of Huddersfield in the 1950s and 1960s.

Thomas and Mercer, 271 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher.. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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