February 22, 2014
It is the mid-19th century, and London is crying out for a cure to the congestion on its streets. Knowing that some kind of underground railway will provide the solution, civil engineer Thomas Webster Rammell fights against the odds to realise his dream of air-powered ‘pneumatic’ trains – so saving his fellow citizens from the unimaginable horrors of subterranean steam. Meanwhile, in present-day London, ex-tube driver Eric walks amid the ruins of the old Crystal Palace. It’s a strange, ghostly place, and gets stranger still when he is attacked by a vengeful skeleton, lurking in a buried Victorian railway carriage.
Inspired by two true stories, Strange Air interweaves the irresistible tale of one of the Victorians’ most fantastic inventions with the fate of the Crystal Palace in South London. An exhilarating blend of railway history and suburban fairytale, the novel reveals how close one man came to changing the history of London’s public transport – and exposes the truth behind the fiery demise of the once-mighty ‘people’s Palace’.
Essential reading for anyone fascinated by the history of the Crystal Palace – and for fans of mind-boggling Victorian railway history . . .