The Last Train 

Reviewed By  Ian Banks       February 10, 2018


Author  Sue Lawrence

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 9781760630867
Publisher:         Allen and Unwin
Release Date:   February 2018  


Once you enter the world of Ann Craig it is very, very difficult to leave until the very last page has been read.

Two women, two separate lives, two stories that  run concurrently, in this historical suspense which weaves the days of tragedy in 1879, with  the modern day of 2015, in a style that is a fluid as it is beautiful, combining the two worlds both similar and yet sparingly different.

Ann Craig is looking out of her window on the night of a fearful storm as it rages about the rail bridge over the River Tay. She watches in horror as the newly built bridge collapses, plunging the crossing train into the storm tossed waters, killing all on board.

Her husband was on the train, but something makes her think and feel that he is not dead, that perhaps for some reason he was not on the train. As the days pass, she refuses to go into mourning, believing that her husband would return.

A letter is received with an explanation, in which he says he is leaving for Tasmania with another woman and would return to claim the boys once he was settled.

In 2015, Fiona Craig discovers her partner, Australian Chef Pete, originally from Tasmania, has emptied their bank account and disappeared, leaving Fiona and her son homeless and penniless.  When the police discover his car at the airport, which turns out to be stolen, she begins to make her own enquiries into Pete’s background, discovering some very dark secrets and with strange and sinister parallels with the past.

Riveting, enthralling and intriguing, the stories of two women both left to find their own way through a world of lies, treachery and deceit in order to defend the ones they love most, has many twists and turns which are all based in and around the terrible Tay Bridge disaster which occurred at 7 p.m. on 28 December close to Dundee  in 1879.

As historical thrillers go this is a corker of a read, one that is vivid, real and created with a real skill and flair for historic fiction. Fabulous!