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Blackdown Paperback – 31 Dec 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (31 Dec. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1494855437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1494855437
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,868,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

You can now follow D. M. Mitchell on Facebook and on Twitter at D. M. Mitchell@dmtheauthor, or visit his official website at www.dm-mitchell.com for book details, his blog on how to be a successful writer, latest releases and author biographies etc.

D. M. Mitchell has been compared to Ruth Rendell, Martina Cole, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Linwood Barclay, Dickens and even the Bronte sisters! This wide array of writing styles is appropriate - though Mitchell is known for his psychological thrillers, he is determined that each of them will be different, so they might be set in different eras, may be straightforward thrillers or have a supernatural or horror twist, and he avoids like the plague the standard and unimaginative serial killer format! You'll find he uses different styles of writing to suit different types of books - it also keeps him from getting bored...

D. M. Mitchell was born into a small mining community in Yorkshire, England. His career advisor said he had two options - go down the mines or become a policeman. Being scared of the dark and never having much meat on his bones, he declined both and in his early years bounced like a pinball from job to job - warehouses, cinema projectionist, market trader, salesman - you get the picture. He sort of made a success of himself and now lives in a money-pit of a cottage in a tiny village in the cream tea heart of the South West of England.

His first remembered attempt at pushing the boundaries of creative writing was during a school lesson at the age of nine. Titled simply 'Rain' his proud masterpiece began with 'It started to rain' then there followed eight pages of nothing but the words 'pitter-patter', concluding with 'and then it stopped'. It was handed over and duly reviewed by his brick wall of a teacher, whose eyebrows flickered up and down ominously, his cheeks flushing bright red, before declaring it total rubbish. He tore it up into ribbons, showered him with his first, and no doubt only tickertape ceremony, and gave him a meaty slap around the head (they could do that sort of thing in 1967). He made him write 'I will not write stupid things for eight pages' for eight pages. Thus he learnt a number of valuable early lessons - the meaning of irony, writing is very subjective, everyone's a critic, and no-one likes a smart-arse.

He persevered, his first novel appearing in 1986 and disappearing into the attic the same year. It's still up there. Many manuscripts later he used to save the piles of rejection slips to paper his bare walls. So the adage is, keep at it, in these times of economic depression you'll soon have the house fully redecorated. Nowadays, writing is the one thing he feels totally comfortable with, except perhaps for a cup of Horlicks on a cold winter's night when the rain goes pitter-patter against the window panes (there it is again...).

Characterisation is an important and noticeable aspect of all Mitchell's novels. It allows him to be whoever he wants to be when he gets fed up of being himself, which is quite often. So too is a sense of mystery and the exploration of the darker side to humanity. There are always strong elements of a complex puzzle to be solved in a D M Mitchell novel, many disparate parts ultimately coming together, tragedy and comedy sitting side by side. As in life, nothing is as it first seems. He takes a keen interest in history, a thread which runs through his writing, whether it's the 1960s or 1970s, as in 'Max' and 'Pressure Cooker', or the Victorian 1880s, as in 'The House of the Wicked'.

His favourite novelists include Barry Unsworth, Thomas Hardy, John Steinbeck and Graham Swift. Top two favourite historical books: Culloden, by John Prebble and The Face of Battle by John Keegan. He also collects first edition novels and takes a keen interest in anything old, tatty and in need of love and restoration. His wife says he needs to get out more.

He has three grown children and also enjoys photography, painting and walking the Blackdown Hills with his wife and an overly excitable Border Terrier - or is that an overly-excitable wife and a Border Terrier... One of the two.

He'd like to thank his growing legion of fans for allowing him to practice being a writer and sharing in his strange and lurid imaginings.

The story 'Rain' has not yet been made available on Kindle...




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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, set in 1817 following the wars with Napoleon.
Thomas Blackdown is an ex-soldier banished from his home 23 years before aged 13. Receiving a letter
from his brother asking for help , posted 2 years ago, Thomas reluctantly returns home to the family estate
in Somerset.

There he discovers his father is disgraced and his brother was brutally murdered and mutilated, presumably
shortly after sending the letter to Thomas. The locals believe the mythical Blackdown Beast was responsible
for killing his brother and livestock and are full of suspicious fear about a local wood.

Thomas scoffs at this fear and vows to avenge his brother's death. This leads him into danger and conflict
with a group of rich and powerful men. He doesn't know who to trust for help.

The book was well written (although there were typos, it didn't spoil the story) and the tale rattled along
at a good pace. There was a Traveling Show; pistol and fist fights; kidnappings; a grieving fiancee and
cock fights. There was no sex or bad language.

There were 3 or 4 really good twists towards the end of the book, which I hadn't seen coming.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical thriller novels, and I would like to read
more by this author from the same period.
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By Sarah Hague on 9 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would have awarded this book 5 stars had it been perfectly edited. There are not many typos, but there are too many for 5 stars.

That said, this was a thrilling book. The main character of Thomas Blackdown is superbly drawn. He doesn't think of himself as a hero, but he will willingly throw himself into dangerous situations and behave heroically without a second thought.

Lured back to his home, he arrives to find his brother is dead, the big house going to rack and ruin, and his father as truculent and unforgiving as ever. Determined to find out who killed his brother, Blackdown starts an investigation that uncovers much more than he ever expected. His discoveries lead him into deep water, threats on his life, and the destruction of all he holds dear. He is not easily deterred however, hence the thrilling action that packs this book.

There are surprises round every corner and hardly anyone is who he seems. This book will keep you guessing, and enthralled.

Definitely recommended.
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By Garian74 on 5 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't usually read Authors that haven't been recommended to me, but thought I'd give this book a try, GLAD I DID! This was a very good read, the story was excellent with characters that were intriguing, and I just wanted to keep reading to see what happened next. The author has a good way of wanting to keep you guessing, and knowing what was going to happen in the next few pages which to me is what I want from a book. Took me only a few hours to read, and thoroughly enjoyed every page. I will now be obtaining more books from this Author and hoping he does the same with those books as well.
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By JEB on 5 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I chose this book as it was free and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was easy to read, I really liked Blackdown's character and the insight into Regency village life. The story swept me up, lulling me into a false sense of calm before hitting me with the full force of some really grisly scenes. I did guess the twist but this in no way detracted from my enjoyment - really well written, unusual story - can't wait to read more of the intrepid Blackdown's adventures. Thank you for such a good read.
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By nubentube on 29 Jun. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the second book which I have read by this author. I love reading stories from the past. I particularly like the main character Thomas Blackdown, who in many ways reminds me of Bernard Cornwall's Richard Sharp and the Napoleonic wars, but this is where the similarity ends. This book had many twists and turns along the way, with a cracking ending. The ending also leaves the potential for more books involving the main character. This book is well worth considering!
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I read the synopsis and thought this sounded interesting, although I hadn't heard or read anything else by the author. I found it a bit dubious at the beginning, but as I pursued with it, I found it hard to put down. The story has several plots, and sub-plots, lots of twists and turns, keeping you on edge. Yes the ending did become predictable towards the end, but overall it was well written, good storyline, and I think would make a good TV drama, well worth a read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An original idea for a thriller, set during an interesting period of English 19th century history. I enjoyed the story very much and then ending was not what I expected. My only gripe is the authors overuse of 'that' when it should have been 'who' and 'lay' when it should have been 'lie'. There are spelling mistakes or mis-prints but that is common on Kindle.
I look forward to the next episode; not too long to wait I hope.
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An enjoyable thriller set in the 19th century.
Thomas Blackdown returns to his family home to find his brother dead his father bankrupt after being dubbed a traitor. Who or what murdered his brother and why was his father called a traitor?
Thomas's quest tangles with travelling entertainers and rich and politically men.
There are many twists and turns through out this mystery that kept me guessing.
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