My copy, which is not on here on GoodReads: Pug-Ugly cover isn't it, Nazi-esque. Paperback: 296 pagesPublisher: Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie Publishers (20 July 2005)Language EnglishISBN-10: 1903490189ISBN-13: 978-1903490181 Product Dimensions: 20 x 12.8 x 3 cmPrefer this later one:The first page (before the author bio) has been neatly removed. Why? Am I missing sommit? Maybe the author had signed it lovingly to a friend, who knows.Dedication: To my beloved husband Lt.Commander Anthony James Mead.May the Gods be with you and all who sail with you.Opening: Joe Standish a skinny pale boy, imaginative enough to be afraid of the dark, a weakness he would never have admitted to anyone, least of all his father, had become a miner on his eleventh birthday.A note through from author and flister Jean adds this about the cover:I see you have one of the very early The Widow Makers. This is a first edition so hang on to it. This has been out of print since 2005 and republished 2011 with the new cover. Whoever owned it before you must have removed the page before the author's bio for some reason, maybe they had put their name on it or it has been a library book.The industry-tied crooked doctor theme I have come across before and I suppose it was such an easy fraud to perpetuate with no unions at that time to stop the practice. Owners didn't care one way or another about workers or their families.-------Much as in Rugby, this is a game of two halves where the second is far to be preferred. So I will deal with it as such:I was never given more than cut-outs of travel, places, people - no image formed in my mind's eye. The writing was defensive and the game in play moved either backwards or at best sideways but the story ball was always left uncaught as these first 200 pages were a dreary period piece. No HWYL at all.Then the book turns on its genre and becomes almost Highsmithesque in sociopathic mode and we (the readers) now know why those first 200 pages of period piece boredom was so cardboard - they didn't matter at all. This section was exciting and Tommy is quite the Steerpike, or in modern TV culture, Thomas Barrow out of Downton Abbey. So coming away from the closing of the back cover we have a Ripley type character in a North Walean slate mine community and his misdeeds are to be further continued in the next two books. The two point five star rating is for the second half - the dent in my wall marks the first.