My review of “The Black Mile” by Mark Dawson

13575021Set just before and during The London Blitz, when the German Luftwaffe tried to bomb Britain out of World War II, The Black Mile by Mark Dawson is a crime thriller told from three perspectives

Brothers Frank and Charlie Murphy are police officers, and Henry Drake is a newspaper reporter with more than a few secrets, but all three are looking for The Blackout Ripper, a serial killer murdering prostitutes in the seedy West End of London.

I’m a fan of the British TV series Foyle’s War, which also involves the premise of the police “carrying on” and catching criminals against the backdrop of a world war. Like that excellent series, The Black Mile has plenty of atmospheric touches to keep the reader immersed as well as more than a few plotlines and red herrings along the way.

In what I think is a bold move, the author left several threads unresolved. I’m not sure if a sequel is planned, but I found the lack of closure to be realistic considering the circumstances.



2 responses to “My review of “The Black Mile” by Mark Dawson

  1. Hello Scott – thanks for that thoughtful and considered review. A pleasure to read it – I’m also very pleased you enjoyed the very slightly open-ended conclusion. It was a conscious choice and I made it precisely for the reasons of realism that you point out; things don’t always end neatly, and I like to give the reader some latitude to come to his or her own conclusions.

    Thanks again, and best wishes for 2013.



    • Mark — thanks for your comment. As I said in the review, it was a bold decision to leave a few plot points hanging. It certainly had me wondering about the possible scenarios for some time after finishing the book. That means your plan worked to perfection. I look forward to adding some more of your work to my (ever-growing) To Read List. Scott

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