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The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: or the Murder at Road Hill House | Paperback

Author: Kate Summerscale | Format: Paperback

    (9 customer reviews)  |  Write a review

Customer Reviews

"Average rating (9 reviews)"

Results 1-9 of 9

  Great read!

| | See all deano131's reviews (5)

Really enjoyed this, not my usual sort of book but a really interesting and well written account of an awful true life crime.

  Well researched but ...

| | See all sHigs98's reviews (52)

It's a case of whodunit? I could understand why this book had
received so much praise and recognition most probably for the amount of research that the author had put into the making of this book.

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher is a meticulously researched investigation into a notorious murder case. Although it happened by some 150 years ago I can't help but compare the reaction from the media of the time and at present which would accompany a similar crime today.
Tabloid hysteria is not a modern day phenomenon. I'm nonplussed by how the suspect could get away with such gruesome crime after killing her step brother by just serving a lengthy jail term and later went on to lead a productive life on her release, including working with leprosy sufferers. An example of someone turning over a new leaf? Or as the book hints - an example of someone taking more than her fair share of the blame in order to protect a loved one?

There are many fascinating things about the case, and the book is gripping from the start, although it gets a bit bogged down in detail at times. It took me awhile to finish this book for just when things start to get exciting the author tend to sway from the case and squeeze in factual details or issues that were remotely not related to the case, somehow you'll be tempted to dart through some paragraphs or pages due to this.

Thought provoking, recommend to patient readers but not a book I'm interested in keeping or reading it again.

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  Misleading

| | See all epic1966's reviews (4)

I did not like the structure. It is more like a text book/documentary style rather than a riviting crime read. 50% main story padded out with 50% waffle comparing other irrelevent crime cases.

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  I LOVED IT!!

| | See all Charlieboo30's reviews (53)

This book has to be one of the best I have read recently. But, let's get one thing straight...it is not a typical who-dunnit novel. Do not read this book expecting it to be Agatha Christie, 'In Cold Blood' or anything else. If you do, you will be sadly dissappointed. like all the other reviewers who have given it 2/3 stars.

This is a fiction book, based on true events that actually happened. Summerscale has deeply researched this book (even down to the actual weather on that day) and that does come through. Rather than feeling this made the book disjointed, I actually really enjoyed the style. There are times when we are told of other crimes, not related to the murder but these are simply to give us background of Whicher and the context of the time.

Read this book with no pre-expectations and I think you will be plesently surprised. I was x

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  Full of interest, but poor structure weakens the effect.

| | See all Kevin1075's reviews (754)

Not quite sure what Kate Summerscale was really trying to do here.

There is an historical true gruesome murder of a young child (Saville Kent) amid a wealthy, Victorian family filled with secrets - the story of the investigation and the structure and development of the Detective branch of the London police - and an historical overview of Summerscale's assertion that the real life Saville Kent murder was in fact a key moment in the development of Victorian detective literature and beyond.

But, while I was probably expecting something along the lines of 'In Cold Blood' here we get a very muddled structure. Each chapter encompasses a little of each of the three main strands but this actually distracted me rather than involved me.

There is a wealth of fascinating information about the Victorian era and a compelling real mystery at it's heart, but the overall effect is an unsatisfying one.

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  good... but...

| | See all girlgamer1989's reviews (164)

The murder story is very interesting, and it`s a classic case of 'who-dunnit' ? What i really like is it`s documentary style, so you know what your reading is actually true and not 'fictionalised'
However i found it really annoying how often this book wondered from the murder to talking about completely un-related stuff; if the author had stuck to talking about the murder this book would've been half the size.
Still a pretty good read though, definately worth a look :)

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  A interesting read

| | See all snowgirl's reviews (2)

Good book about a true victorian murder. It also details the start of police detectives and refers to various others murders of that period so it is not a classic who done it novel.

  A little misleading

| | See all MarloweDVDs's reviews (1)

I felt that the way the book has been billed is a little misleading. I assumed I would be getting a fictionalised account of a true Victorian murder mystery however what I found was a narrative which progresses in fits and starts. John le Carre refers to it as "documentary writing" which sums the book up perfectly. I found the asides about the origins of the police force and the first group of detectives very interesting but I would have preferred that they were not interweaved in the story (perhaps a prologue would have fitted better?). In any case, it is an interesting read once you get your head round the idea that it is not going to be a thrilling murder mystery from cover to cover, but by the time you have realised this the book has all but lost its allure.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?   Yes |  No |  Report abuse

  Fascinating murder mystery

| | See all cathy12's reviews (1)

I was completely hooked by this book from the very start - it is a true story but so easy to read and gripping, and fascinating about how the case inspired detective writers like Arthur Conan-Doyle and Wilkie Collins. Was really interesting about how detectives first came about, too, and brilliant ending! I'd give it 10/10 - you really felt the author had done her research too.