Customer Review

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A capital Victorian murder, 3 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Mr Briggs' Hat: A Sensational Account of Britain's First Railway Murder (Hardcover)
This page-turner of a real life account opens with the gruesome crime scene - the blood spattered over the first class carriage of a train, a discarded leather bag, an ivory-knobbed walking stick and a hat. The scene is so vivid that it hooks the reader straightaway taking them on a journey with a narrative which races at breakneck speed, hurtling along the track with all the twists and turns of a Victorian `sensation' novel. Tension mounts as we follow Mr Briggs to his office, unaware of his inevitable fate that is waiting for him on his way home from work.

Kate Colquhoun captures perfectly the spirit of the Victorian age: the extraordinary innovations of technology at odds with the deep-seated anxiety of the unknown. Mr Briggs is about to find himself at the heart of a frenzied public debate as his murder embodies the middle class commuters' worst fears.

The voyeuristic frisson of intrigue and speculation is accompanied by rich and evocative description. Compelling detail and a deft touch bring the past to life through a vivid portrayal of everyday life in the vibrant metropolis of 1860s London.

The real life investigation that follows Thomas Briggs' murder is reminiscent of the detective novels of the time. Through the skilful writing of Kate Colquhoun, we follow the leads of the detectives as they examine clues that could have been lifted straight from the pages of Arthur Conan Doyle. The suspense builds as the investigation climaxes in a cross-Atlantic chase and the suspect's arrest in New York.

The ensuing courtroom drama has all the excitement and suspense of a modern film sequence, heightened by an underlying ambiguity of whether the suspect is guilty or innocent. Ambivalent to the end, the reader is left with an all-pervading sadness over the fate of possibly two victims.

Mr Briggs' Hat is real life crime at its very best.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 40,380