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not only was I disappointed to discover that there was no additional information (in ...
on 9 July 2017
I bought this book because a victim in one of the cases was a relative of mine. The blurb states that the cases are "investigated and told by a modern crime historian", so I expected that the author would have researched the cases (perhaps beyond the facts reported in the newspapers of the time, which I had already discovered some years ago) and therefore, I hoped that I might gain some new knowledge about the case...
However, not only was I disappointed to discover that there was no additional information (in fact I had already found more detail myself, perhaps missed by the author, by sourcing several different reports of the event); but it was even more upsetting to discover that some of the included facts were reported inaccurately!
Not only has she misreported the assailant's name (and his age) which is surely a principal feature of the account, but of equal importance, the author specifies the wrong date! She mistakenly records the incident as having happened in 1916 in both the title(!!!) and by repeated implication within the chapter, as she sets the scene (a year late) when the event actually took place in 1915. How she managed to get this leading fact so blatantly wrong is completely beyond me ... especially since she even cites the date of her (1915) newspaper report in the second paragraph! Therefore, even without the original sources to hand, it is just so obviously incorrect... Surely this glaring error should have been spotted and corrected during any proof reading?
Does it really matter? Yes it does, for two reasons:
Firstly, on a point of principle. Because it's now out there, in print, it could therefore technically be used as a source for research by others and thus, these inaccuracies could multiply and continue into the future.
Secondly, the genre: this is not fiction. It is a factual book, and should contain accurate historical evidence.
In conclusion: I like the idea behind this book, but it's a great shame that the facts have not been checked thoroughly before printing. I am left wondering how accurate any of the other information in it is.