The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: Or the Murder at Road Hill House

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Bloomsbury, 2009 - History - 372 pages
73 Reviews
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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - CandaceVan - LibraryThing

An extremely well-researched account of an infamous crime, it's denouement, and the secrets that may yet have remained to be unravelled. This is not just a true-crime story -- it is the story of the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - marti.booker - LibraryThing

The writing was pretty blah, but the story itself was sad and interesting, in its own way. If the writer had been less wrapped up in how many pounds, shillings, and pence everything cost and a bit more interested in writing flowing prose, it may have been a better read. Read full review

About the author (2009)

Kate Summerscale is the author of the number one bestselling The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2008, winner of the Galaxy British Book of the Year Award, a Richard & Judy Book Club pick and adapted into a major ITV drama. Her first book, the bestselling The Queen of Whale Cay, won a Somerset Maugham award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread biography award. Kate Summerscale has also judged various literary competitions including the Booker Prize. She lives in north London. Mrs Robinson's Disgrace is her third book.

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