Monday, November 09, 2009

The Great Stink by Clare Clark

The Great Stink by Clare Clark
Historical Mystery

Below the streets of mid-1800s London, England runs the city's sewer system. It's an endless maze of decaying brick pathways that smell horribly and are used by many to hide things, including bodies.

William May returns from the Crimean War an almost broken man. He has what is obviously post traumatic stress syndrome and the only way he can act normally around his wife and son is to go down into the sewers to cut his wrists. Eventually, May gets a job with the city to help transform the sewer system. This leads May in to some tricky scenarios from corrupt city workers that make him lose his mind and his family. Did he witness a murder in the tunnels? Or was it just his deranged mind?

I found this book to be a fairly slow read even though it was very interesting. I'm not sure if it was the structure of the book that made it slow as I was definitely engaged. I was surprised that someone would pick this subject for their book but it worked! Though there is some history in this book from the little bits of Crimean war and how the sewers were overhauled, I didn't find this as much as a historical fiction as a fictional mystery. Though I do wish the mystery had started a bit earlier in the book, there was still enough tension to keep me engaged. Definitely an interesting read.

First Line: "Where the channel snaked to the right it was no longer possible to stand upright, despite the abrupt drop in the gradient."




Jeane said...

I don't know if I'd find the murder/mystery aspect intriguing, but the history of the sewer system is such a different subject it sounds interesting to me for that reason

Jayne Tingay said...

This is a interesting blog !