The Black Country by Alex Grecian
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
We're in the era of Jack the Ripper, but not in London. Instead, London Detective Day (along with Constable Hammersmith and forensic pathologist Dr. Kingsley), of the Murder Squad has been asked to come to a mining town in the British Midlands to help investigate a missing family (well, part of the family: father, mother and one son). Once there, they learn that the town is rife with superstitions, a sudden epidemic that is taxing the local doctor's abilities, and tunnels that are literally causing houses to sink. Their search is aided by a semi-mysterious man who served in the American Civil War and returned home to Britain, fell in love and served time for killing a man. And the remaining children of the missing father and mother? They seem more interested in confusing matters than finding their step-mother and step-brother.
This is incredibly atmospheric, with the dangers of living in a mining town built atop tunnels mimicking the crumbling way of life for these people. The villains are not that difficult to spot (we even follow one's thoughts as he tracks his prey) but there are twists that make it interesting.
A series to look out for!
ARC provided by publisher.