Thriller Martin Cruz Smith Rose

ISBN 13: 9780345390448

Rose

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( 2,418 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780345390448: Rose

"THE MOST INTERESTING AND RICHLY TEXTURED CRIME STORY OF THE SEASON."
--Time

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. As he begins his search every road leads back to one woman, a haughty, vixenish pit girl named Rose. With her fiery hair and skirts pinned up over trousers, she cares nothing for a society that calls her unnatural, scandalous, erotic. As Rose and Blair circle one another, first warily, then with the heat of mutual desire, Blair loses his balance. And the lull induced by Rose's sensual touch leaves him unprepared for the bizarre, soul scorching truth. . . .

"[SMITH] AT THE TOP OF HIS FORM. . . . It is fun, the well-plotted, dense fun of an intelligent, shadowy, literary enigma. . . . Brisk and edifying entertainment."
--The New York Times

"SUPERIOR . . . Rose has one of those powerfully involving plots that keeps you in an enjoyable dither, eager to turn the pages and reluctant to reach the last one."
--Chicago Tribune

"A JOY TO READ."
--The Washington Post Book World

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Review:

For Jonathon Blair, a mining engineer and explorer, the color and rigors of the Dark Continent are far more suitable than the foggy drizzle of his home in Wigan, Lancashire. When he returns from Africa's Gold Coast in 1872, he finds England utterly depressing and turns to drink to ease his melancholy. His patron, a Bishop and mine owner, agrees to send him back if he can clear up the mysterious disappearance of a local curate engaged to marry his daughter. As he sleuths around the cultured homes of Wigan, through ill-cobbled alleys and into the depths of the mines, he meets the alluring Rose Malyneaux. Used to relying on himself, Blair finds that Rose's instincts provide more answers than he could have hoped for.

From the Publisher:

If anyone is better than Martin Cruz Smith at creating a fictional world and making the reader a part of it, I don't know who that would be. This is such a stunning novel of mystery and betrayal that you don't even realize what a history and social studies lesson you're getting! Smith leaves modern Russia (Gorky Park, etc.) and plunges into the Victorian era, in the god-awful town of Wigan, England. It is the coal mining town from hell--with horrible, choking soot, Dickensian working conditions, and rebellious female coal sorters known as "pit girls"--so scandalous that they become famous enough to supply a big trade of photographic cards. They pin their long skirts up between their legs, giving the appearance of pants! The pit girls strike a blow for women's rights almost sixty years before they get the vote, and it is the feisty Rose of the title who causes most of the trouble. For Wigan is also the company town from hell, with a rich bishop controlling the mine and the people with a smooth veneer of piety covering all. And he doesn't like anyone challenging his authority.

It's a great read, a real page-turner. Smith did his research so well you'd think he lived in Wigan in 1872. From the bottom of the mine, up the shaft to the room in the bishop's mansion carved out of black coal, from the naive engineer Jonathan Blair to Bill Jaxon, king of the miners, from the haughty high society to the brutal miner's entertainment known as "purring," ROSE is a book you will never forget.

Doug Grad, editor

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Smith, Martin Cruz
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