The Molten City

Leeds, September 1908. There’s going to be a riot. Detective Superintendent Tom Harper can feel it. Herbert Asquith, the prime minster, is due to speak in the city. The suffragettes and the unemployed men will be out in the streets in protest. It’s Harper’s responsibility to keep order. Can he do it? Harper has also received an anonymous letter claiming that a young boy called Andrew Sharp was stolen from his family fourteen years before. The file is worryingly thin. It ought to have been bulging. A missing child should have been headline news. Why was Andrew’s disappearance ignored? Determined to uncover the truth about Andrew Sharp and bring the boy some justice, Harper is drawn deep into the dark underworld of child-snatching, corruption and murder as Leeds becomes a molten, rioting city.

In On: Yorkshire Magazine, the reviewer says: “The expected riot happens, and the author’s descriptions of this, and of the organised steps the police take to quell the disturbance and minimise casualties is amazingly authentic. It is almost as if he were there and taking notes, and is one of the best presented and prosaic pieces of descriptive writing I have read in some time.” – And there’s more praise. you can read it all here.

Here’s a lovely interview with crime novelist Kate Vane for the Crime Fiction Lover website.

“I’ve been publishing crime novels set in Leeds for 10 years now. It’s gone by in a flash. The things that have happened because of it have astonished me. A couple of plays involving my characters, one with a live jazz band. With the historian I know, I helped to put together an exhibition called The Vote Before The Vote, about the local Victorian women who worked towards the vote in the 19th century. So much I’d never expected.”

Sometimes a writer is lucky enough to receive the kind of review we can usually only dream about, like this one from the Fully Booked website.

Nickson orchestrates the dramatic disorder – based on real events – of the Prime Minister’s visit with panache and the skills of a born storyteller…There are so many dazzlingly good elements to this novel….Chris Nickson’s finest novel yet”

Please, read the whole thing here.

The SO19 website interviewed me about the book and also celebrating 10 years of publishing books set in Leeds. Read it all here.

MiniMac Reviews called The Molten City “an emotionally provocative and meticulously crafted read. Lovers of historical fiction will appreciate the attention to detail, while readers of crime fiction will get lost in the case.”

Wonderful words, and you can read them all here.

A delicious review from Espresso Coco: “Nickson clearly knows and loves his subject (and city) well, and it really comes across on the page. Leeds is very much a key character in Nickson’s books” – it’s all right here.

A lovely, lovely piece about The Molten city and 10 years of me publishuing books set in Leeds. “…a leader of the genre.” I’ll gladly take that! Read the whole thing here.

A very lovely interview with the Yorkshire Post.

YP 2020

Mystery People seems to like it: “I found it impossible to put the book down and read it in one sitting.”

See the whole review here.

The first US reviews have arrived. Kirkus Reviews likes the book: “Harper, stretched to his limit with so many problems to ponder, emerges battered but unbowed.” Read the entire thing here.

Publishers Weekly is pretty ecstatic about it: “Even minor characters are fully fleshed out in this trip down the mean streets of early 20th-century Leeds. Nickson’s consistent high quality across multiple series continues to impress.” They’ve given it a starred review, the third in a row I’ve had from them, which honestly feels remarkable. The entire piece is here.

Some complimentary words from Booklist, which says The Molten City “offers authentic period ambience, engaging characters, and a realistic look at the challenges of policing without high technology…A good read in this reliably entertaining series”


Go Buy The Book seems to like it…read it all here.

The Molten City has a lot happening between its pages, but the story flows easily, each plot being as enjoyable as the other. Chris Nickson, again, adds an air of authenticity by including real historical events as part of the plot, and it is easy to imagine yourself in the Leeds of 1908.”