Blood on the Line
Set in Victorian England, the eighth in Edward Marston’s Railway Detective series opens with the wily Jeremy Oxley – conman, thief and murderer – being escorted by two policemen on a train for his appointment with the hangman. His escape involves cold-blooded murder and more work for the tenacious railway detective Robert Colbeck and his deputy Victor Leeming, whose decade-long pursuit of their adversary has enhanced their skills to track their elusive, ruthless adversary. Oxley is an expert at his murderous trade, using the complex web of railways to outwit the police. Colbeck is also driven by something in his distant past as he and Leeming pursue Oxley and his accomplice across the Atlantic to New York. This is an uncomplicated plot with an easy-to-follow investigative process. Whilst the concluding chapters are expertly and concisely written, one is left feeling that Oxley may yet thwart justice and reappear in another Colbeck story.