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A light and accessible account of an intriguing historical event,,
on 14 December 2011
The most disappointing part of this book is the promise on the cover of 'a sensational account' of Britain's first railway murder. Sensational?
The publisher would appear to be trying to pull potential readers in under false pretences. There is very little that is sensational about this account of Britain's first railway murder - it's actually a very factual account which borders on the tedious at times - but only because the author has tried to stretch the rather scant material.
So why read it? Initial criticism aside, I enjoyed this book because I enjoyed the history, not just of the murder itself, but of the role that the rising popular press played in directing the feelings of the public so that, for the murder suspect, it was as much trial by popular press as it was trial by jury. I think that this is as much a story in itself and the book could have made more of this.
Would I recommend it? Not if you've been attracted by the word 'sensational', but if you enjoy true crime and history combined, it's a light and accessible account of an intriguing historical event.