Rose by Martin Cruz Smith

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Rose is a wonderfully rich and intricate novel set in nineteenth-century Wigan, a town located in the coal country of Lancashire.  Its protagonist, Jonathan Blair, is a mining engineer who has been chased out of Africa for "stealing" from the missionaries' Bible Fund in order to pay off the porter of his expedition into the interior of the Gold Coast; he is now down and out in London.

Blair's employer, Bishop Hannay, promises to send him back to Africa if he can find John Maypole, the curate who was engaged to his daughter, Charlotte Hannay, when he disappeared three months previously without explanation.  Charlotte herself is an ill-tempered young woman who takes an instant dislike to Blair when he tries to investigate her fiancé's disappearance.  Other characters include assorted townspeople, miners at the Hannay family mine, and Rose Molyneux, a "pit girl" with whom Blair falls in love.

Exceeding even the high expectations of Smith's readers, Rose is richly detailed and compelling--his most accomplished and fascinating novel to date.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Martin Cruz Smith

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Martin Cruz Smith’s novels include Stalin’s Ghost, Gorky Park, Rose, December 6, Polar Star, and Stallion Gate. A two-time winner of the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers and a recipient of Britain’s Golden Dagger Award, he lives in California.
Published January 18, 2012 by Ballantine Books. 417 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, History, Horror, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Rose

Kirkus Reviews

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Smith (Red Square, 1992, etc.) not only sets his exuberant, sly new novel in Victorian England but goes Victorian novelists one better, conjuring up a plot device at the heart of this mystery that Dickens would envy.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Rose

Publishers Weekly

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PW called this tale of murder in a 19th-century Lancashire mining town a spirited, sexy mystery. (June)

Jun 02 1997 | Read Full Review of Rose

Publishers Weekly

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Though Arkady Renko is absent from Smith's latest novel, the author of Red Square (1992), etc., has created instead a new protagonist, Jonathan Blair, a 19th-century man in the best muscular detective

Apr 01 1996 | Read Full Review of Rose


While Smith thoroughly creates the character of Kate providing a backstory of her childhood and her two marriages, the novel comes to life when Richard and Kate meet and become lovers.

Dec 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Rose


Reviews of Karen Rose Smith - Romance Novels forum |

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Romance Reviews Today Blog

The police have been unable to find Paige, so Emma takes part in a TV interview promoted by media producer Linc Granger.

Sep 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Rose

The Trades

Those who've read the Bone books already know that Gran'ma Ben was the deposed Queen Rose, while her sister, Briar, "turned to the dark side" in the service of the Lord of the Locust.

Aug 04 2009 | Read Full Review of Rose

The Zone

Jeff Smith, creator of the comic book character and title Bone belonging to an ongoing popular series of magical and witty adventures, combines his writing talents with renowned fantasy illustrator Charles Vess to produce a three-part miniseries gathered into a graphic novel, a prequel set ...

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