Customer Review

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Non-fiction or fiction?, 5 April 2014
This review is from: Did She Kill Him?: A Victorian tale of deception, adultery and arsenic (Hardcover)
I was looking forward to this book as I had read about and been fascinated by the Florence Maybrick case some years ago. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed by this new look at it.

There is a disturbing trend in non-fiction of authors feeling they need to tart up an account with 'literary' touches. It's not enough to convey the facts in an engaging way, the author needs to add what I've seen described in reviews of other such books as 'the evil glint in Hitler's eye' syndrome.

Right at the start the author writes: 'Florence Maybrick was lost in thought as she sat in a silk-covered chair before the wide bay window...her tapering fingers remained idle in the lap from which one of her three cats had lately jumped, bored by her failure to show it affection'

Maybe, maybe not. Maybe the cat left an account recording how Florence was rather distant and didn't
stroke him enough. Or maybe it's all made up, like a lot of other such passages. The problem with that is that from then on the onus is on the reader to decide which information offered up is true and what has been made up. That's the last thing I want hovering in the background when I'm reading 'true' crime. The author does put some direct quotes In italics to reassure us, but they are few and far between, and the rest of the time you have to decide whether someone really said this, thought that, did the other etc etc.

And anyway, these rather affected literary flourishes are simply irritating!

There have been much better, factual accounts of this case.
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4.0 out of 5 stars (7 customer reviews)
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Location: Nottingham, England

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