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Murder at Wrotham Hill,
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This review is from: Murder at Wrotham Hill (Kindle Edition)
This book concerns a murder in 1946, when a middle aged spinster called Dagmar Petrzywalski, was found dead by a lorry driver. Although the body was found in a quiet and rural area, a young girl had been found raped and strangled only three months earlier, and so a manhunt immmediately swung into action. Dagmar was a reclusive and eccentric victim, who was known to hitch hike early in the morning - on the day she went missing she had set out to visit her brother. So why was her body found in the opposite direction she had set out in and who would kill such a quiet and inoffensive person?
In many ways this is a moving and tragic story, not only of the victim and culprit, but also of a time. In 1946 England was war battered and low on resources. So low that a lorry driver stopped when he saw a shoe at the side of the road in case he could find a pair, and that a handful of change and a string bag were possibly worthwhile acquiring. The author does a wonderful job of recreating that time and gives an excellent portrait of the victim and murderer. However, one area in which the book does fail is in the constant digressions by the author. Many are interesting and relevant, but others less so. It almost seems that the author, having completed her research, was utterly determined to write down everything she has learnt. So, for example, while it is fine to give the background of the murderer, including the number of siblings he had, it is less relevant, and slightly confusing, to then list every marriage of those siblings, where they worked, how many children they had, etc etc. In other words, this book does have a lot of padding and some of it could happily have been edited out without spoiling what is a very fascinating tale of a murder and a time that are long gone.