The Baghdad Railway Club, Hardback Book

The Baghdad Railway Club Hardback

3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Baghdad 1917. Captain Jim Stringer, invalided from the Western Front, has been dispatched to investigate what looks like a nasty case of treason.

He arrives to find a city on the point of insurrection, his cover apparently blown - and his only contact lying dead with flies in his eyes.

As Baghdad swelters in a particularly torrid summer, the heat alone threatens the lives of the British soldiers who occupy the city.

The recently ejected Turks are still a danger - and many of the local Arabs are none too friendly either.

For Jim, who is not particularly good in warm weather, the situation grows pricklier by the day.

Aside from his investigation, he is working on the railways around the city.

His boss is the charming, enigmatic Lieutenant-Colonel Shepherd, who presides over the gracious dining society called The Baghdad Railway Club - and who may or may not be a Turkish agent.

Jim's search for the truth brings him up against murderous violence in a heat-dazed, labyrinthine city where an enemy awaits around every corner.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780571249619

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While i enjoyed this book more than Somme Stations, I still find it really hard to get into this series. Mostly, like Somme Stations, it just seemed flat. Even the rare passages of action seem stilted. Maybe this is intentional by the author, perhaps he's trying to convey the renowned British stiff upper lip attitude of the participants, however the fact that no-one ever seems to get startled or hot under the collar can really start to grate after a while. Perhaps he was trying to convey the ennui of life in the heat of the Middle East, certainly the enervating climate gets mentioned at least once on every page, but then the same flatness and lack of effort was apparent in the Somme Stations and I dont think heat was ever a problem there. This book gets extra marks for covering the British campaign in Mesopotamia, which generally gets short shrift compared to the Western Front, and conveys the terrain and general feel of the region quite well. But frankly as far as the story goes, its a bit of a bore.

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