The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: or The Murder at Road Hill House (Paperback)
  • The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: or The Murder at Road Hill House (Paperback)
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The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: or The Murder at Road Hill House (Paperback)

(author)
£10.99
Paperback 400 Pages
Published: 05/01/2009
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

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
ISBN: 9780747596486
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 304 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

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

I can't think of another book which takes you so fast into the smells, tastes and atmosphere of that time - Doris Lessing

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

Gripping, unputdownable - Sunday Telegraph

A terrific read in the Wilkie Collins tradition - Susan Hill

A page-turning merging of scrupulous research with vivid storytelling. Full of atmosphere and stroking detail, it is a triumph - Observer

There is some terrific detail in Summerscale's book ... What the book does brilliantly ... is look at notions of class, criminality, human nature and religion in an age of change ... Engrossing - Ian Rankin, Guardian

A remarkable achievement - Sunday Times

Summerscale has produced not only a dazzling non-fiction thriller but also an acute work of literary and social history - Daily Express

A tour de force. It sweeps us irresistibly into the investigation, turning us into armchair detectives ... Under teh spell of Kate Summerscale's scrupulous intelligence and mesmerizing research, we are drawn into a detective story within a detective story that takes us halfway into the 20th century - Daily Mail

An unexpectedly moving thriller - Daily Telegraph

Kate Summerscale brilliantly reconstructs the circumstance of the murder, the course of the investigation, and the long, sad consequences ... Her narrative has the dark fascination of the sensational fiction her subject helped to inspire - Spectator

One of the Victorian era's most intriguing murder mysteries is given a fresh and gripping examination - Sunday Times

A dramatic page-turning detective yarn of a real-life murder tat inspired the birth of modern detective fiction. Kate Summerscale has brilliantly merged scrupulous archival research with vivid storytelling that reads with the pace of a Victorian thriller ... leaves one gripped until the final paragraph - Rosie Boycott

A thoroughly satisfying read, brilliantly researched, winningly told, and it's hard to see how this subject could have been better treated. It'll stand as a true crime classic - Evening Standard

Fact and fiction do not so much blur as bleed into each other in The Suspicions of Mr Whicher ... Summerscale accomplishes what modern genre authors hardly bother to do any more, which is use a murder investigation as a portal to a wider world - New York Times

The best whodunnit of the year - and it's all true. The fascinating story of a famous Victorian murder case and thedetective who solved it has all the ingredients of a classic murder mystery ... Agatha Christie, eat your heart out - Tatler

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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.

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 117

“Fascinating.”

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

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 115

“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!

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 108

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