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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 29 November 2012
Loved the detail and obvious research into the subject. Of course, the murder of a woman that goes unsolved is a good plot. The narrative flows rather too well and I sometimes had to remind myself that this was a true and grisly story.
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on 12 June 2016
This sounded like an interesting true-life murder case - and it is - but the book itself is marred by the modern disease of invented dialogue, thoughts, facial expressions etc of the characters. In fact, looking again at some of the reviews it seems to me that some readers actually think it is a novel, albeit one based on a real event. I don't blame them, because the author has seen fit to turn what could be a fascinating historical account into a what reads at times second-rate novel. It really isn't necessary - I've read many non-fiction books about real murder mysteries which are written in a conventional yet intriguing and entertaining way without the need for such embellishments.

It's also rather padded out with digressions and unnecessary detail, although I don't blame the author too much for this because few stories like this would be long enough for a full-length book without a bit of padding.

When I read a 'true' story I like to know that everything I'm reading actually happened rather than having to try to pick out the fact from the fiction, including conversations etc. I found the way the story was presented so irritating that I almost gave up, and I certainly wouldn't have bought it if I'd known it was written like that - but the actual crime and characters themselves were interesting enough to make me carry on to the end.
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on 26 May 2014
........ and a good indicator of official and public attitudes to crime and a good many everyday situations, in Victorian Scotland.
At a time when investigative law officers had nowhere near the scientific aids that those of today do, it was somehow refreshing to read that the accused, against whom the charge could not be "proven" was released; yet also frustrating because most of the
admittedly circumstantial, and sometimes contradictory, evidence had pointed towards this individual, who may well have been convicted had DNA testing for instance been an option.
Those looking for a sensational read -- aside of the circumstances of the crime itself --- would be advised to give it a wide berth.
Inasmuch as he was able -- the victim was an ancestor --- the author has charted an open-minded and fairly non-judgemental course, presenting the evidence as it appeared in police notes and court transcripts; and reprinted some of the more lurid and sensationalist newspaper articles without appearing to be influenced by them.
However, one senses his frustration at the knowledge that no-one will ever be convicted for this offence, nor will the offender ever be named, for this crime which all but destroyed some members of his family.
Factual and somewhat dry, with an insider's knowledge gained from family anecdotes and records. Saddening and depressing too, for emotion can't be altogether erased from this work, which appears to have been somewhat cathartic for the writer.
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on 7 January 2013
Thoroughly recommend, it's such an interesting story and even more so due to the fact that it's a true story and written by the victim's 3 x great grandson.
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on 17 October 2014
Interesting account maintained by basis on factual events. The first book that I read of this type was The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and noted his inclusion in the overall scenario of crime investigation in this book.
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on 1 October 2015
Great relook at old murder case
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on 5 December 2014
heavy going but interesting
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