THE SOMME STATIONS

Written by Andrew Martin

Review written by Helen Bettinson

After a career in TV production Helen Bettinson recently ditched a long commute around the M25 in order to concentrate on reading, and perhaps even writing, crime fiction.


THE SOMME STATIONS
Faber & Faber
RRP: £12.99
Released: 3rd March 2011
HBK

A century has passed since the outbreak of the First World War, yet our hunger for its horrors is undimmed.  And there is no shortage of authors willing to feed our demand.  The trick, then, is to find an original way into this familiar territory, by going underground, as Sebastian Faulkes did with Birdsong, or up onto narrow gauge rails, as has Andrew Martin in The Somme Stations.

Of course, Jim Stringer is much more than a literary device to lead us to the Western Front, having already appeared in six best-selling books.  But whether the reader comes to this novel a Stringer fan of long standing or not, Martin’s evocation of the war experience is both moving and exciting.

In October 1916 a badly injured Jim is about to be arrested for the murders of two men in his company. The narrative then scrolls back to the autumn of 1914 and the enlistment of Railway Detective Sergeant Stringer in the Railway Pals, a battalion drawn from the ranks of engine drivers, footplate men, ticket collectors, porters and plate-layers of the North Eastern Railway.  But before this motley band of brothers can be shipped to France they are sent for training in the Humber estuary.  Against this bleak backdrop a tragedy occurs that not only shakes the company, but shapes its fate in the months to come.

The second half of the book shifts to the surreal world of the Western Front – to the booming ‘hate’ of the trenches, the bars of bombed-out Albert, and the ever-expanding narrow gauge network that consumes Jim’s company. This is war, with its blood, filth, adrenalin and steam, where death may come at any moment, and from any direction. As the Somme offensive unfolds, Jim’s suspicions that the enemy lies within their own ranks are borne out by events.

This is a fascinating tale, expertly told.  Martin succeeds in laying the tracks of suspicion in the reader’s mind as expertly as the Butler twins lay their narrow-gauge tracks up to the frontline. The cast of characters is well drawn and the claustrophobia of men bound together for better or worse is compellingly realised.   The next instalment in the Stringer series will be eagerly awaited by all who read The Somme Stations.

Read our interview with Andrew here.
 

cheat on husband online married men who cheat
website dating site for married people women who cheat on husbands
buy viagra online canada online viagra size
link redirect click here
spyware for mobile phones cell phone spyware app free phone spy app
viagra 100 mg viagra without a doctor prescription viagra without a doctor prescription
2016 viagra coupon site coupon for free viagra
can i take amitriptyline with hydrocodone go can i take amitriptyline with hydrocodone
how much does it cost for an abortion click medical abortion pill
prescription discounts cards manufacturer coupons for prescription drugs free prescription discount cards
coupons prescriptions link free printable cialis coupons
plendil 5 mg pret link plendil 5 mg retard
allotment click allo allo
viagra ersatz charamin.jp viagra generika
free prescription cards discount martialinfo.com prescription coupon
aborted babies allianceproductions.com elective abortion
prescriptions coupons cialis discount coupon cialis.com coupon
duspatal idiotygenii.com duspatal
where to buy naltrexone naltrexone alcoholism medication naltrexone uses
rezeptfreie potenzmittel apotheke viagra kaufen apotheke osterreich potenzmittel rezeptfrei
how to have an abortion pill abortion pill articles when can you get an abortion pill
clomid cycle clomid proviron pct clomid testosterone
medical abortion pill misoprostol abortion abortion pill price
cialis coupon code cialis savings and coupons printable cialis coupon
electric vacuum aspiration dilation and curettage video where can i have an abortion
priligy thailand priligy hinta priligy 30 mg
clomid clomid proviron clomid
information about abortion pill third trimester abortion pill average cost of abortion
about abortion pill buy abortion pill teenage abortion pill
abortion pill services aero-restauration-service.fr home abortion pill
free cialis coupon 2016 cialis.com coupons prescription coupon
where can i buy low dose naltrexone link naltrexone uses


Home
Book Reviews
Features
Interviews
News
Columns
Authors
Competitions
Blog
Shop
About Us
Contact Us

Privacy Policy | Contact Shots Editor

THIS WEBSITE IS © SHOTS COLLECTIVE. NOT TO BE REPRODUCED ELECTRONICALLY EITHER WHOLLY OR IN PART WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION OF THE EDITOR.