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10 thoughts on “Snow Hill

  1. A Reader& A Reader& says:

    Friday 18 December 1936 I went to my funeral this morningSo begins the diary of John Steadman an ambitious young journalist in London When he gets a tip off about a murdered policeman he thinks he's found his scoop Trouble is no one else seems to know anything about it or they're not tellingThen John finds someone willing to talk At least someone who was Now they're hanging from a meat hook in a refrigerated locker and John's on the verge of a front page scandal that will make or break his career But to get to the heart of this dark story he must first go undercover Six feet undercover to be preciseThis was definitely a book of two separate opinions First the historical aspect of this story was amazing As readers we always want to feel like we are right there when it comes to location and if appropriate time period And Mark Sanderson does that in spades One of the best books I have read in recent memory that evokes an historical period like this Secondly the mystery was uite captivating It wasn't exactly the most original plot but then that's hard to accomplish nowadays but there were enough twists and turns to keep me intrigued The homosexual angle certainly added a new light for me on motives as well as opening up a section of London's underbelly that I had previously been unaware ofThe other side of the coinAt times there was far too many references to previous events the death of John's mother seemed to permeate a lot of his thoughts even though those thoughts weren't totally relevant to what was going on Flashbacks to a time with John and Matt that again really had nothing to do with the story And the constant references to film and books got uite annoying especially Dickens I have no idea what point that had in the storyLook if you want a good murder mystery this could be the one for you But it does have some heavy story telling issues Still worth a tryPaulARH


  2. Maddy Maddy says:

    PROTAGONIST Johnny Steadman reporterSETTING 1936 LondonSERIES #1 of projected trilogyRATING 225 If you’re an ambitious reporter you live for the scoop But what do you do when nobody will admit to the fact that anything out of the ordinary has happened? Such is the situation that reporter Johnny Steadman faces when he gets a tip that a policeman from the Snow Hill precinct has been killed According to his contacts at that station none of their personnel has been harmed But Johnny has reason to think differently and sets off on an investigation that irretrievably complicates both his personal and professional lives In addition to following the clues to what could be the story of his career Johnny is also approached by his best friend Matt Turner who is a cop whose life is falling apart Coincidentally the reason for his malaise is tied to the story that Johnny is chasing What he finds out is horrifying and involves male rape and sadism And then he finds himself in the line of fire of the villains; what happened next was rather graphically portrayed and disturbing SNOW HILL is based on a supposedly true incident that occurred in London in 1936 Sanderson has done a good job of creating the period detail—I felt as though I were there back in the 30s beside Johnny Unfortunately the author went overboard and dropped in irrelevant historical facts that slowed the pacing of the book and took the reader away from the main narrative On the whole the characters were rather stereotypical I found the focus on homosexuality to be overdone; I would have preferred to have the characters defined by than their sexuality In addition the protagonist is the victim of some of the worst clichés in the genre such as attending a meeting in an alley in the wee hours of the night You know that can’t turn out wellSanderson showed a deft hand at establishing the setting but he didn’t do nearly as well at the other writing essentials such as plot and character development dialogue and pacing SNOW HILL is intended to be the first book in a trilogy Based on this initial effort I won’t be looking for other books in this series


  3. Mishka Jenkins Mishka Jenkins says:

    It was OK right up until about 23 of the way through when things just came out of no where But yeah an all right read one to have by the bed and get through gradually on a night


  4. Daniel Gothe Daniel Gothe says:

    This book has gotten some pretty bad reviews when compared to others in the genre and I cannot but think some of that criticism comes from a few specific scenes not the overall uality of the story that's being toldSure the characters may not be Pulitzer worthy nor the general plot but I felt this was very good for what it was; a crime novel taking place in 1930s LondonIf you enjoy the setting and enjoy a good sometimes brutal story I have no doubt that you will enjoy this book as well


  5. Sid Nuncius Sid Nuncius says:

    This book has an excellent opening a short extract from the main character's diary I went to my funeral this morning I expected people to be there The remainder of the book is narrated in the third person and I am sorry to say that I found it dull badly written and a real struggle to get throughIt's a good idea for a story set in 1936 it features a young reporter looking into murder and its connections to police corruption and homosexuality illegal then of course The trouble is that it is so badly told For example at the outset we are clumsily introduced to a cast of deeply unconvincing stereotypical characters the boozy journalist the bullying boss the troubled PC with a heart of gold and so on One is a posh bloke who is a rival reporter to the main protagonist who tosses his flowing chestnut locks Lazy cliché mars the whole book later someone is actually dragged somewhere kicking and screaming and the prose is dreadfully clunky and downright inappropriate in places There are irrelevant and tedious reminiscences about childhood scenes which add nothing and slow down an already sluggish narrative apparently inserted to show how much research the author has doneCharacters do implausible things for the flimsiest of reasons often putting themselves in danger for the sole purpose of setting up a predictable tense situation For example the protagonist goes to meet his only informant in a dodgy alley at 330am No one is in the alley when he gets there but he spots a large deserted cold store building with its doors closed but unlocked He knows people want to silence him and anyone with a grain of sense would get away from there as fast as possible I wouldn't dream of giving away plot details but you may find yourself able to guess what he actually does what he finds and what happens to him after he's found itI could go on but I'm sure you get my drift I didn't like the book at all and often found myself muttering oh for heaven's sake out of sheer irritation Other reviewers have clearly enjoyed this book and you should read their reviews before being put off by mine tastes vary after all Apparently it's the first of a trilogy but I certainly shan't be bothering with the next two


  6. Cerisaye Cerisaye says:

    The best things about this novel are its vividly realised evocation of mid 30s London and page turning relentlessness of the rather lurid story it tells Sanderson has obviously done his research and this pays off in the novel's realistic period atmosphere however sometimes it results in unnecessary 'info dumping' with characters' interior monologues offering up history and local knowledge like helpful tour guides interrupting narrative flow and taking me out of the story The parts of the novel with the internal dialogue of the murderer are cringingly bad though not uite as awful as my recent read John Connell's Ruins of War There is too much telling and explaining by characters yet even so their actions too often remain implausible plot contrivances And the main character Johnny Steadman hard boiled crime reporter has an annoying habit of shoe horning in references to his favourite Dickens novels The crime at the centre of the story exposes the dark side of pre war London with some disturbingly graphic scenes of sexual violence homophobia appropriate to the period and a sordid account of blackmail drugs police corruption systemic hypocrisy and callously brutal murder I particularly liked how the novel shows contemporary attitudes to homosexuality in both public and private spheres and the difficult circumstances of gay men in the era before legalisation who lead necessarily underground lives Which leads me to my main issue with the book that the relationship between Johnny Steadman and his best friend since boyhood Matt Turner a policeman at Snow Hill station is just so much powerful than any dealings with the opposite sex I just couldn't believe their repeated increasingly desperate protestations of heterosexuality It felt to me as though Sanderson gave them wivesgirlfriends in an attempt to convince the reader they're straight Sorry it doesn't work It doesn't exactly help the women in their lives are poorly developed like most of the novel's subsidiary characters Still I enjoyed the novel enough to make me want to read the other two books in the series just to see where Sanderson takes Johnny and Matt Perhaps the writing will improve too with practice


  7. Yla Socorro Yla Socorro says:

    Introduction I'm not going to make my words play nice here This book is definitely not for me I was intrigued when I read the overview and indeed it sounded promising atleast to me But I was greatly disappointed in the endOverview Friday 18 December 1936 I went to my funeral this morning So begins the diary of Johnny Steadman an ambitious reporter on London's Fleet Street When he gets a tip off about a Snow Hill policeman's death he thinks he's found the scoop that will make his career Trouble is no one at the station seems to know anything about it or they're not telling Johnny's one lead takes him to the meat market at Smithfield where he encounters violent death close up and personal Undaunted by this chilling message his investigation drags him deep into a web of corruption that reaches further than he could ever have imagined Johnny must risk everything to save his closest friend and expose the ruthless killer at the heart of this dark story But to bring them to justice he must first go undercover Six feet undercover After all a dead man cannot be tried for murderMy Opinion Well I dont like the characters most of them are stupid enough to put themselves in danger And not just once When I read the overview I was like wow Masuerading your own death to catch the killer seemed exciting But come on The chapter after the funeral came the exposition of this so called undercover stunt Already? And faking it again? you gotta be kidding meI know its based on what seemed to be a true story so maybe the characters and the plot is not hyped up But then again if you dont how will it be larger than life enough to catch the readers' interest? Definitely young ambitious reporter stereotyping and heart of gold homosexual character cliche didn't work so well on me Well I'm just not recommending this I'm not saying its that bad I know our tastes vary so please dont be put off by this


  8. El El says:

    Apparently based on a true story this book details an incident of police corruption in the 1930s and the opening line raised my expectations highly “I went to my funeral this morning” Though it is clearly not the best written book in the world is full of clichéd characters and scenarios that only idiots would get themselves into I still found it uite an interesting “read” I think some of this was down to the excellent reading of Jonathan Keeble who made the characters come alive as much as they were able to and the rest was because of the shock value of parts of the plot This is definitely not for the faint hearted and I wish I’d been warned in advance about one very difficult to listen to scene And the ending is ridiculous; everything neatly wrapped up and nobody is affected by what has happened However despite the negatives I was still keen to listen in again each time to see what the author would pull out of the hat next I liked the relationship between Johnny and Matt – though this could have been developed further – and it was revealing to see how homosexuality was perceived in the 30sI was interested enough in this to look into finding Book Number 2 – this is Part 1 of a trilogy – and seeing how the author progresses


  9. S.H. Villa S.H. Villa says:

    Disappointing about sums it up I liked the beginning attending his own funeral But the writing is pedestrian the plot moves are often clichés and the descriptions of traumatic events – such as a homosexual rape – mundane at best ‘He was robbed of his manhood’ What? There is no humour no insights into 1930’s Britain which was still in the clutches of the Great Depression It is set in late 1936 when the Spanish civil war had fascism on the move Would Germany be next? Would Germany be eyeing that little island in the North Sea? There was so much happening at that time – the book is centred around a reporter – the story could have had plenty of atmosphere something which it claimed to have and did not Maybe that touch of freezing fog was that the ‘atmosphere’?He thanks his agent and TWO editors for their help without which it would have been a very different book Maybe next time he should try flying soloRaymond Chandler staked out the noir thriller for a period slightly later than this I recommend Sanderson read and re read Chandler And read some newspapers of the time


  10. Raven Raven says:

    Junior newspaper reporter John Steadman receives an anonymous tip off to the mysterious disappearance of a policeman from Snow Hill station and in pursuing his own investigation finds himself embroiled in a world of police corruption blackmail sexual violence and murder This is an uncompromising and at times uncomfortable thriller that cuts straight to the heart of the sordid underbelly of 1930‘s London with a realistic recreation of the atmosphere of the period A powerful and disturbing crime debut reminiscent in style to Jake Arnott that I thoroughly enjoyed reading despite how grubby it made me feel


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  • Paperback
  • 343 pages
  • Snow Hill
  • Mark Sanderson
  • English
  • 25 December 2014
  • 9780007296798