The Baghdad Railway Club

Written by Andrew Martin

Review written by John Parker

John Parker is a Graduate-qualified English/Spanish Teacher, owner and director of CHAT ENGLISH, an English Language Centre in Avilés on the north coast of Spain . A voracious reader, he has particularly loved horror fiction for many years.


The Baghdad Railway Club
Faber & Faber Crime
RRP: £2.29
Released: June 5th, 2012
Kindle

We find ourselves in the year 1917 where Jim Stringer has been sent to Baghdad to investigate a case of treason. Upon his arrival he discovers that his contact has been murdered.

Feeling out of his depth and isolated while surrounded by enemies and the infernal heat, it is up to Jim to discover the truth of this murder. Jim is officially working on the railways and his superior, Lieutenant Colonel Shepherd, becomes his most likely suspect. Is Shepherd a double agent? Or is there more to the man than at first appears?

Martin has written an entertaining read. It is set in and around Baghdad during the Mesopotamia Campaign fought between the forces of the British Empire and the Ottoman Turkish Empire during World War One. We travel from the drizzle of York, England to the sun-baked lands of Iraq or what was then Mesopotamia. We meet a variety of characters both Army and native, many of whom may just want Jim out of the way.

Our hero Jim always seems to be an outsider in the East, never feeling comfortable in his role as a spy. The plot moves along at a slow pace at times but manages to keep the reader gripped until everything is tied up at the end with an especially nice twist which I didn’t see coming. This is a nice book for a summer break.   

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