10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Good but padded out,
This review is from: The Magnificent Spilsbury and the Case of the Brides in the Bath (Hardcover)
This is a good account of a well known case, well told and well researched. I enjoyed reading it.
However, as with the Suspicions of Mr Whicher, there is far too much padding. To use two examples. We have a whole chapter on the Crippen case, and several pages on the zeppelin raids on London of 1915. The former could have been summarised and the latter ommitted.
More research could have been conducted into George Smith. We are told a little about his background based on what he himself said. However, most serial killers, from Haigh, to Christie to Fred West and Dennis Nilsen all provide accounts of their life stories and these are not always very factual, to say the least. Given the archives and other primary sources available to the historian (census, civil registrtaion records etc. as a minimum), the author could have investigated these to give a rather fuller picture. Or if the evidence is lacking, to say so.
Also, given that this is a well known case, the author could have stated why this account is different and how it adds to our understanding of the matter.
Possibly some comparisons with other serial killers and their victims might have put these terrible deeds into context - or otehr killings in the 1900s/1910s in order to show why these stand out.