Rose

Rose

Book - 1996
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Random House, Inc.
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.

Baker & Taylor
A down-on-his-luck mining engineer, Jonathan Blair undertakes a mission at the request of Bishop Hannay to find the missing curate engaged to Hannay's daughter, an investigation that takes him into the heart of Lancashire coal country and into a romance with "pit girl" Rose Molyneux

Blackwell North Amer
The American adventurer Jonathan Blair has been chased by scandal out of West Africa to the stranger land of Victorian England. Gin-soaked and shaking from malaria, he must travel to Wigan, a town in the darkest part of England, to solve the mysterious disappearance of a young cleric.
Nineteenth-century Wigan is two worlds. On the surface it is a serene baize-green land of the moneyed. But in the pits that reach a mile below the surface lurks a separate world where coal miners eke out their short, violent lives covered in black dust. And while the world on the surface may have fine ladies, the world of miners has pit girls, the social and sexual scandal of the country.
The missing cleric, John Maypole, has crossed the line. He was engaged to Charlotte, the daughter of the bishop who owns the mine. But Charlotte is as cold as ice, and Maypole seems to have had a fatal encounter with the opposite sort of woman, an earthy, unforgettable pit girl - Rose. Maypole vanished the same day that seventy-six men died in an explosion and firedamp in the bishop's mine.
Blair finds himself involved with the workers who make the bishop rich, miners whose existence is marked by brutal labor and blood sports, and pit girls notorious even in London - and with his own shadowy origins.

Baker
& Taylor

A down-on-his-luck mining engineer, Jonathan Blair undertakes a mission at the request of Bishop Hannay to find the missing curate engaged to Hannay's daughter, an investigation that takes him into the heart of Lancashire coal country and into a romance with "pit girl" Rose Molyneux. 250,000 first printing. Tour.

Publisher: New York : Random House, 1996.
ISBN: 9780679426615
0679426612
Branch Call Number: SMI
Characteristics: 364 p. ; 24 cm.

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DBRL_KrisA Jan 09, 2017

I'm a huge fan of Smith's Arkady Renko series (Gorky Park, Red Square, etc.); while this isn't Renko, and doesn't take place in Soviet-era Moscow, I enjoyed it nonetheless. The story takes place in the Victorian-era English coal mining town of Wigan; a local clergyman has gone missing, and Jonathan Blair is tasked with trying to find him. Just like with his Russian novels, Smith does a good job of getting the setting and time of the story right.

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KarenW
Oct 18, 2005

Set in 19th century England, Jonathan Blair is make to go to a mining town where life is brutal and short. Horrific descriptions mingle with every day life in a compelling piece of fiction that I never would otherwise have picked up! Martin Cruz Smith?s affinity with spy novels don?t do anything for me, but this story had me from the very first page. His description of a dinner party in a room lined with coal, contrasts darkly with real life embodied by a very real pit girl named, of course, Rose. Soon the mystery that he is sent to investigate is entangled by his fascination with Rose. The outcome is deeply dark like the coal they are disemboweling the earth for.

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FavouriteFiction Oct 31, 2009

Mining engineer Jonathon Blair returns from Africa's Gold Coast and is asked to solve the mystery of the disappearance of a local curate.

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