Phosphate Rocks by Fiona Erksine

This is a hard book to classify. It is one of the few books that I did not like at first, but when I came back to it with a fresh mind and renewed interest, I found it an intriguing read.
The main reason for my initial reaction was the same reason I was intrigued later, another rare occurrence. Each chapter begins with the history in some related form or fashion of the Phosphate industry, circling back to the factory in Scotland.
The story begins with the finding of the skeleton at the location of an old Phosphate factory. In order to identify the possible identity of the unknown victim, an old foreman is brought to the police. From that point, each chapter talks about one item found at the location, starting with one aspect of Phosphate that I am sure hardly any average person is aware of. It is in part a non-fiction book drawn from the author’s experience, partly a homage to the profession and only a very minor part of it is about the ‘mystery’ itself.
The people introduced to us were quite different, each suffering a different type of issue. The non-fiction part of it was quite engrossing once I got into the groove of the narrative. The other part is not necessarily bad, but I would not have liked the book without all the facts I learnt (and some promptly forgotten) along the way.
The author’s writing was good and what we got was exactly what was presented by the blurb and the overall look of the book.
I am not sure of the audience to recommend this book to, but I think anyone who looks at the blurb and the book and finds a spark of interest should definitely give it a go.
I read this as an ARC, thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.


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