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Friday 17 February 2017

'The Iron Water' by Chris Nickson

Published by Severn House,
16 November 2016.  
ISBN 978-0-7278-8643-9

The atmosphere of Leeds in the late 19th century really comes through in this book.  The evocation of the sights and sounds of the city and , in particular,  the smells  gives us a superb evocation of the grime of a Northern industrial city then.   The harsh smells permeate the clothes of the workers in a chemical factory and the hopeless odour of poverty surrounds the woman who has been forced by the death of her husband to take her family into the workhouse.  On the brighter side the park with its outdoor concert provides a pleasant experience.

We are following the work of Detective Inspector Tom Harper as he investigates the discoveries of 2 bodies in water.  These are 2 separate incidents - one body is found in the lake at Roundhay Park after a demonstration of a new naval weapon - a torpedo; in the other case, only part of a body is found in the River Aire.  

A cast of characters is well presented and the mysteries gradually get unravelled by Inspector Harper.  The depth of background material and the variety of well described characters lifts this book from the mere detective story level.
Reviewer: Jennifer Palmer 
Chris writes a series set in 1730s Featuring Richard Nottingham on Leeds; The Iron Water is the third book about Harper in the 1890s.

Chris Nickson was born and raised in Leeds. He is the author of the Richard Nottingham books, historical mysteries set in Leeds in the 1730s and featuring Richard Nottingham, the Constable of the city, and his deputy, John Sedgwick. The books are about more than murder. They're about the people of Leeds and the way life was - which mean full of grinding poverty for all but the wealthy. They're also about families, Nottingham and his and Sedgwick, and the way relationships grow and change, as well as the politics, when there was one law for the rich, and another, much more brutal, for everyone else. In addition to this Chris is also a music journalist, reviewing for magazines and online outlets
Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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