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SURREAL. TERRIFYING: 112 SOULS SLAUGHTERED IN SECONDS.

World News Headline 12th October 1952: England’s worst train wreck stuns Britain.

Imagine, standing on the platform at Harrow & Wealdstone railway station and you couldn’t shake off the premonition that three trains were about to collide. And you could see who was going to die!

Few escaped this real event which also left 340 injured. What could have gone so wrong on the footplate of the Perth express?

When the sleeping-car express ploughed into the rear of the standing London-bound commuter train, carriages and people were ripped to bits instantly. But worse was to come: within seconds, a northbound express smashed into the wreckage, the injured and the dead.

Lorna survived the carnage, but seven years on still suffers from the terrible nightmares and daytime traumas. She hopes DI Oliver Crosier, of Crewe’s Railway Police, will know something to help her come to terms with her terrors and the tragic loss of her sister, brother and niece.

Crosier’s investigation of British Railways’ first serial killer, leads him to suspect that he is connected to the Harrow and Wealdstone crash. Crosier’s family becomes targeted by the killer, and his wife’s refusal to follow Oliver’s work in Crewe only add to his problems; and his love life.

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SEE WHAT READERS HAVE SAID ABOUT ‘HARROWING’.

5 Stars A good first detective novel

By Maureen Mitchell November 2015

The Harrowing takes us back to the 50s and early 60s, an era with limited forensic science and technology; no internet, mobile phones or even photocopiers. Solving a series of murders committed on the railway network in Cheshire has to be achieved by dogged, old fashioned detective work. How these gruesome murders are linked to a real life event, the biggest rail crash in British history in 1952, is cleverly revealed towards the end of the book.

Crosier is the newly arrived Chief Inspector with the British Railway Police in Crewe. A well established officer with experience in the Met and in York, he appears at first glance the stereotypically happily married man with a wife and two children. This relationship is explored and the cracks revealed as the serial killings take over his life and his wife is unable to understand him and support him, causing him to be drawn towards his female sergeant Claire.

I loved the setting of post-war Britain, with the references to coffee bars and Chinese restaurants - the latest food fad - and the explicit political incorrectness of the era. Claire is called a half-caste because she is half Italian!

There is detailed knowledge of the railway network and trains then, before Mr Beeching took his axe to it, but it is deftly woven into the story without being turgid and boring and is essential to the gradual denouement.

I can't wait to read more stories about D.I.Crosier, a well drawn, believable and likeable detective from the era of Dixon of Dock Green.

5 Stars An insight into major disaster through the eyes of fictional witnesses incorporated into murder mystery

By Marilyn Bick January 2014

A very different sort of murder mystery giving a good insight into railway disaster of the '50s. Characters cleverly interwoven to keep you in suspense and thinking 'what’s next?' Main character has plenty of personality without being squeaky clean himself. Plenty of information in there too for steam railway buffs but interesting enough for even those who are not au fait with this era.

5 Stars A great read!

By Phil Ellams February 2014

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. There is cast of well developed characters and the plot seems to be well thought out - the questions which are raised early on are answered towards the end. I had to flick backwards a few times to remind myself of details, but that is testament to the depth of the plot and number of carefully crafted threads. The book cleverly references real events - an actual train crash in the 50's - which adds an extra layer of interest. It could appeal to many different readers; those looking for a good 'whodunnit', or a period drama, and although it is not 'about trains' there is some technical detail to keep the engineering-minded happy. A strongly recommended page-turner.

5 Stars Thoroughly enjoyable

By oceanlady November 2017

Great read! Worth the time and read all of them- Love the way he uses phrases you don't often hear anymore.

5 Stars A good yarn

By Carol Ward on March 2014

I am a beta reader and a character in this book, so privileged to have been around during its gestation and birth. What has emerged is a professional and polished debut novel. A fitting testament to the hours of love and attention the author has lavished upon it. The author has created a fictional scenario of the circumstances surrounding the UK's worst railway disaster. Don't worry that the book might only appeal to train spotters or railway buffs, the technical detail is kept to a minimum. There are a lot of characters so you need to keep your wits about you; they are all relevant and credible. The author tells me that some of the characters are based on people he has encountered, so if you know him, you might recognise yourself! The story rattles along with plenty of twists and turns (and red herrings) to keep the old grey cells working. I would encourage you to read it, you won't be disappointed. It is a good yarn

5 Stars A must read kind of who done it and a darn good read!

By junes bookson March 2014

Just finished The Harrowing and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't recommend it highly enough if you like to be kept on your toes with depth and strength in a crime story. When is the next one due out Edwin? Waiting....

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