The Magpie

The Magpie

Average: 5 (1 vote)
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It is December 1913 and Detective Constable Frank Bolam has a murder to solve. The victim is found drowned in the River Wear with a vicious knife wound to his lower back. There are no witnesses and no clues. A few months later another body is found with the same vicious knife wound, followed closely by a further two murders with the victims stabbed in a similar manner. This is a clever killer. No clues are found and Bolam cannot find a way to break the deadlock in his most perplexing case. Having risen from a lowly mining family, Bolam has strong moral values and becomes totally obsessed with the killer and the devastating sadness brought to the victims’ relatives. He vows to bring the murderer to justice, whatever the cost. These are turbulent times, with the country in the middle of an attritional war. In his quest to find the murderer, Bolam follows his hunch and enlists in the army, heading for the trenches to track down a cold-blooded killer in the middle of the most mechanised slaughter the world has known.
Gary Toward


Gary taught for over 33 years in 6 schools, leading three as head teacher. His passion for WW1 began when, with colleagues, he developed educational visits to Ypres. Now a key note speaker and educational trainer, he is co author of four successful books for teachers. He is married with two grown up children. My personal interests??? Sport, mountaineering, football, cycling??? Passions…brilliant education for all.


Peter Balderstone
I saw this being talked about on Twitter and thought I'd take a punt. I'm glad I did. I like crime and I like history, so this is an ideal book for me. I love the way Gary Toward has taken the time to do his research and to keep the book accurate to the times. His characters are believable and the book is a great read, with the pages turning quickly. I read the book in two sittings as it kept me interested and keen to know what was going to happen next. The ending took me totally by surprise.
Chris Henley
Gary Toward has come up with a real page turner. From the opening pages right through to the conclusion, I was gripped by the twists and turns of the story as it unfolds. A really good read from a master storyteller.

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