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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon 19 November 2002
Ms. Bainbridge has taken well-known bits of History and placed her mark on them. When she has done this the degree of familiarity you may have had with the event is forever altered. Previously I have enjoyed her version of events that were famous and or notorious; however this time her subject is one that was completely unknown. Further, it was not even a remarkable story, albeit a true one, until Ms. Bainbridge decided to complete all that might have happened which was a larger piece of the known story. History recorded only the results and consequences never the cause.

This is not the Watson of literary fame that spent his time sleuthing with the great Sherlock Holmes. This man is as ordinary as the afore-mentioned were extraordinary, and he only rose to average when at his best. The story is based on a true crime of the late 19th Century and one that is committed in this country on a daily basis. This part is important for the Author takes an event that is anything but momentous and makes it an excellent read. Further she ventures into social and moral commentary that is valid and argued to this day.

The Reverend Watson commits a hideous crime, not even he contests this fact. What no one can account for is why the act took place and what his state of mind was when committing it. The writer supplies a multiple decade history of what might have happened, inclusive of the briefest of alleged dialogue.

The triumph here is a novel that utilizes a host of documents and court transcripts together with letters to a variety of newspapers. But they are only a part, almost addenda to what Ms. Bainbridge adds. It is as though she was given only an answer and wrote a thesis on the question.

This is another wonderful work by a writer who is consistently excellent.
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