2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
True Life Victorian Mystery at its best!, 17 July 2013
This book is one of the most fascinating, detailed, Victorian true life crime stories I have ever read! I just could not put it down! The background and the description of the characters involved before the crime is revealed gets you hooked from the start. The author paints the Victorian streets and characters (even down to the victorian clothing and hairstyles) in words as if he had known them and been there at the time. I could actually feel and smell the fog and mist coming down and hear the clip clop of the horses pulling the carriages through the gas lit cobbled streets as he described the houses and surroundings in London and the villages in Kent. The sadness and heartbreak of poor little Georgie's mother finding out her little girl had been cruelly taken and murdered in such a horrible way was hard to imagine. I couldn't help at times though feeling some sympathy towards the suspect Esther Pays as she was dragged backwards and forwards to the damp, cold Clerkenwell prison as detectives were digging for more and more evidence and all the while the reader is swinging from guilty to not guilty as each bit of evidence is unveiled. The detailed court hearings both from the defense and prosecution would equal any present day true criminal case. Even the QC's and Judges involved have their background and characters described right down to Mr Justice Hawkins taking his little fox terrier Jack in to the court hearings with him. The police had no DNA etc those days so the detective work had to be thorough and exhaustive which it was in this case but also frustrating, full of twists and turns yet revealing in the end even with the battle going on between Scotland Yard and the Kent County Police. Amazingly detailed research has gone in to this book but the detail is never overwhelming and it is delivered in chronological order, truly fascinating and easy to follow. If you love atmospheric Victorian true crime you will not be disappointed and will love this book! This is the first book I have read by Colin Evans and can't wait to read more from him. The only criticism I have of the Kindle version is the occasional missed words or typing errors particularly in some of the verbal statements but this did not spoil the read at all.