The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: or The Murder at Road Hill House (Paperback)Kate Summerscale (author)
An enthralling slice of true-crime Victoriana, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher revisits a mystifying murder case from 1860, introducing, in Jack Whicher of Scotland Yard, a detective who was to serve as inspiration for a generation of novelists.
It is a summer's night in 1860. In an elegant detached Georgian house in the village of Road, Wiltshire, all is quiet. Behind shuttered windows the Kent family lies sound asleep. At some point after midnight a dog barks. The family wakes the next morning to a horrific discovery: an unimaginably gruesome murder has taken place in their home. The household reverberates with shock, not least because the guilty party is surely still among them.
Jack Whicher of Scotland Yard, the most celebrated detective of his day, reaches Road Hill House a fortnight later. He faces an unenviable task: to solve a case in which the grieving family are the suspects. The murder provokes national hysteria. The thought of what might be festering behind the closed doors of respectable middle-class homes - scheming servants, rebellious children, insanity, jealousy, loneliness and loathing - arouses fear and a kind of excitement. But when Whicher reaches his shocking conclusion there is uproar and bewilderment.
A true story that inspired a generation of writers such as Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, this has all the hallmarks of the classic murder mystery - a body; a detective; a country house steeped in secrets. In The Suspicions of Mr Whicher Kate Summerscale untangles the facts behind this notorious case, bringing it back to vivid, extraordinary life.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 304 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 25 mm
'It is a beautiful piece, written with great lucidity and respect for the reader, and with immaculate restraint. A classic, to my mind, of the finest documentary writing.' - John Le Carre
'A pacy analysis of a true British murder case from 1860, the unravelling of which involved one of the earliest Scotland Yard detectives and inspired sensation novelists such as Dickens and Wilkie Collins./ Absolutely riveting.' - Sarah Waters, Guardian
'Summerscale has constructed nothing less than a masterpiece. My shelves are stacked with books about crime, but none more satisfying than this.' - Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
'Sparse, melancholy, beautifully written the year's most beguiling biography.' - Independent
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“Not what I expected”
I was not enamoured as it was not what I had hoped for. I felt it was slightly disjointed. Interesting though.
This was clearly very well researched and although clearly billed as a fictional account of true events it reads like an expose of Victorian life and its slightly hypocritical desire for salacious news and the... More
“Interesting but very 'wordy'!”
Thought this was interesting but too much stuff and records that had nothing to do with the story. However my husband loved it!
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