The Railroad by Neil Newton

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-20-47-52What is the book about?

It’s about Mike Dobbs who survives 9/11, but struggles to come to terms with what happened. As a favour fro a friend, he takes in a mother and her daughter. When they disappear, he sets out to find them.

Is is a Series?


How easy is it to read?

Fairly easy.

Karen’s Magic Review

Mike Dobbs is the main character and he is on the underground when the two towers come down. There is some great characterization about the people he encounters on his daily commute, and how New Yorkers relate to each other. The first quarter of the book deals with his reaction, his break up with his girlfriend, and how he baffles his best friend with his spiraling depression. Mike is on the way to a breakdown. Then out of the blue, he gets a phone call from an old girlfriend who asks him to help out a friend and her daughter. Eventually, the story moves on to the mother and her daughter moving in with him. Again great characterization, children don’t always act as we would expect. The author obviously knows hows kids really are. Eventually, mother and daughter are forced to leave and the rest of the story deals with Dobbs, drinking too much, and falling apart as he attempts to look for them.

What I liked Best

The author is great at describing people and their habits. Getting to know Megan, the little girl was great reading. I was riveted to this part of the story and could feel for them all as things go disastrously wrong especially as he was trying so hard to do things right thing. There is something about this book, once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down.

Often the main character was busy doing nothing except drinking and strangely, I was hanging onto every word.

And the Rest

Some things did not make sense to me, or I was unable to understand. In the book, people were being kidnapped and the numbers 451 was written in their blood on whatever object was nearby when they were taken. Each time this happened, it was told in italics and in the present tense. Then, it moved back to the story and the kidnapping was reported by the local news. Each time there was a kidnapping, the mother and child were mentioned, except for the last one. When the news report came in, it was a different mother and child, so I wasn’t sure what I had missed. And some of the minor characters had the same name. I know people do in real life, but I’ve not come across it in a book before.

Dobbs talks about a serial killer on the loose, but these people were being kidnapped and there was never any reference murders. There were never any bodies, so this red herring didn’t seem to work for me.

The ending, was good, although I found it difficult to believe that Dobbs would be quite happy pretending that he had gone mad. Surely there would be an element of embarrassment? I didn’t quite understand where they were going in the end.

Despite a lot of the story being confusing or not making complete sense. I couldn’t put the book down and every page was one that I wanted to turn over and read more of.

Amazon US
Amazon UK


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