Author – Kate Summerscale, is a British writer and journalist. She has also written The Queen of Whale Cay, which was shortlisted for the 1997 Whitbread Award, and won the 1998 Somerset Maugham Award. Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace came out in 2012 and the The Wicked Boy, which was shorted listed for the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award in 2017 and won the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. The Murder at Road Hill House was also short listed for the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award. It won the Galaxy Book of the Year in 2009, the BBC Four Samuel Johnson prize and the Baillie Gifford Prize.
Social Media Links –
Website – katesummerscale.com
Publisher – Bloomsbury Books
Pages – 372
The Blurb –
It was midnight on 30th June 1860 and all is quiet in the Kent family’s elegant house in Road, Wiltshire. The next morning, however, they wake to find that their youngest son has been the victim of an unimaginably gruesome murder. Even worse, the guilty party is surely one of their number – the house was bolted from the inside.
As Jack Whicher, the most-celebrated detective of his day, arrives at Road to track down the killer,the murder provokes national hysteria at 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.
This true story has all the hallmarks of a classic gripping murder mystery. A body, a detective, a country house steeped in secrets and a whole family of suspects – it is the original Victorian whodunnit.
I got this book from my local Poundshop.
My thoughts – I loved this book. I love true crime generally but this book is exceptional. The amount of detail and research that has been done is amazing.
The book focuses on the murder in 1860 of Saville Kent the young son of the Kent family. He was taken from a locked house and found murdered in an outside toilet. The house, was full of his family and the servants.
In the 1860’s the class of detective was not yet recognised and the public were unfamiliar with them. This crime was deemed so abhorrent that a new detective Jack Whicher was charged with going to the scene of the crime to find the culprit. The book explains the implementation of detectives, how and why they were needed and how they were received by the public. Their introduction also had an influence on popular culture of the time and authors started creating their own detectives.
Some of you may be aware of the TV series of the same name that was shown on ITV a few years ago. Reading this book has made me curious to see how they adapted it for television.
I found it such an interesting read and I highly recommend it.
Purchase Links –
Amazon – The Suspicions of Mr Whicher