5. Rose by Martin Cruz Smith (1996)
Length: 364 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Started: 18 January 2013
Finished: 22 January 2013
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 23 January 2008
Why do I have it? I like historical mysteries and Martin Cruz Smith is a new author for me.
The year is 1872. The place is Wigan, England - a nineteenth-century town in the coal-mining district of Lancashire. Into this dark, complicated world where wealthy mine owners live like royalty alongside miners who are treated no better than slaves, comes Jonathan Blair, a mining engineer who has accepted a commission to find a missing man. Recently returned from Africa's Gold Coast, Jonathan finds his native England utterly depressing and soon falls into melancholy and alcoholism.
Desperate to return to Africa, Jonathan agrees to investigate the disappearance of a local curate who was engaged to marry the daughter of Jonathan's patron. 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 call her unnatural, scandalous and a 'loose' woman.
As Rose and Jonathan 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 Jonathan totally unprepared for the bizarre, soul-scorching truth.
I found that this book was very interesting, although the ending was extremely convoluted. I had to find out what happened in the book, even though I couldn't really understand the mining practices of 19th-century England that were written about in such detail. I give this book an A!
A! - (90-95%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight