Jim Stringer always wanted to be an engine driver but a series of unfortunate events (described in the previous books in the series) robs him of this ambition and ruins his chances of working as an engine driver.
However, he is spotted as a good man with a keen eye and a sharp mind so he becomes a railway policeman, a detective in the force.
It is December in the year of 1909. There is heavy snow in Yorkshire that winter, so it is of no surprise when a train runs smack into a snowdrift and becomes stuck.
What does cause a surprise is when the gang of railworkers who are given the task of clearing the line of snow discover a body hidden at the side of the track.
It should be a simple case, but it all goes terribly, horribly wrong. And Jim's life is put in grave peril.
Why does the case involve a giant steel works?
Who is the murdered man? What connection is there to an exclusive railway dining club that mysteriously and abruptly ceased operating sometime prior to the discovery of the body?
Why does the case interest a reporter from a railway magazine, who seems to know more about the case than he should? And what, exactly, is the reporter so anxious to find?
The novel takes Jim Stringer away from his warm home and his loving wife and child and the familiar surroundings of of the police office at York station to an appointment with a grim and grizzly fate on the be-snowed Scottish Highlands.
But who can Jim Trust? The strange Scottish giant called Small David? The reporter, Bowman?
The novel sets a cracking pace and Andrew Martin paints excellent word pictures to set the scenes of story. So well that you'll swear you can smell the smoke and steam and feel the chill that gnaws at the bones.
The list price is £10.99, but I paid considerably less with Amazon.