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1-13 of 13 reviews Show most helpful reviews first Newest first

 

Researching a Murder: a haphazard approach

Advantagesoften interesting and discusses aspects of the case in detail

Disadvantageslacks a sense of cohesion and is overly detailed in places

"...It was short listed for the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger and won the Samuel Jonson prize for non-fiction. Regrettably, I failed to like it. I say regrettably because Summerscale has clearly worked hard at her research and because it took me quite a long time to read it. == The context == In 1860 the brutal murder of a 3 year old boy at a wealthy middle class residence (Road Hill House) shocked and worried Britain. The reasons for its ..." Read review
06.03.2011

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

The crime thriller that didn't thrill me

AdvantagesDetailed, interesting, well-researched

Disadvantageslong-winded, rambles off the point too much

"The book recounts the events of a notorious Victorian murder case. In 1860 a 3-year old boy, Saville Kent, was taken from his bed at Road Hill House in Wiltshire. His body was later found in an outdoor privy on the premises of the country house. His throat had been cut and there were knife wounds to his chest. The residents of this respectable country house immediately fell under suspicion and, as the murder investigations began, dark family secrets ..." Read review
29.12.2010

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher - a True Victorian Crime

AdvantagesHistorical Events

DisadvantagesRambles a bit at the end

"...was pivotal in changes to the crime and punishment system in the UK and fictionalised the pivotal case of Road Hill House. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House printed by Bloomsbury was the 2009 Galaxy Book of the Year as well as winning the BBC Four Samuel Johnson prize and being shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger award and was a Richard and Judy number one Best Seller. Kate Summerscale is a highly ..." Read review
01.04.2014

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 6oldchem

oldchem

A 150 year old murder, a modern book, a superb read!!

AdvantagesAn incredible well written and fascinating book - SUPERB!!

DisadvantagesNone, none, none!!!

"...Suspicions of Mr Whicher or the Murder at Road Hill House " by Kate Summerscale. "You'll love it", she told me, "it's a great book". At this my other friend shrieked, "Oh God, it's an awful book!!" - so I had to read it, I had to decide which side of the fence I would take! The book deals with the true story of the murder of three-year-old Saville Kent on the night of 30 June 1860. Over the years the story had inspired many writers - Charles ..." Read review
30.07.2009

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 6burtybookw...

burtybookworm

Just the cold, hard facts!

AdvantagesAn interesting case, fascinating look into Victorian society

DisadvantagesQuite boring, no characterisation, too much like a text book

"Winner of the BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize, this is a true story of a murder mystery that gripped this Country in 1860 and for many years afterwards. At midnight on the 30th June 1860, 3 year old Saville Kent is gruesomely murdered and the family realise that he was murdered by someone in their household - the house is always bolted from the inside at night and therefore only the family and the live in servants could be on the suspect list. Jack ..." Read review
17.03.2009

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Whodunnit?

Advantagesfantastic book combining a detective story with a history lesson

Disadvantagesnone

"On the night of 30 June 1860 the Kent family retire for the night in Road Hill House in Wiltshire, Samuel Kent taking particular care to make sure that the house is locked up with the windows bolted and shutters closed. When nursemaid Elizabeth Gough wakes and finds that three year old Saville Kent is not in his cot she assumes that his mother has taken him to sleep in her room. When his mother Mary wakes up the house is thrown into panic when they ..." Read review
09.05.2009

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

The Hound is on the Scent

AdvantagesSome fascinating insights

DisadvantagesToo objective and factual at times

"The subject of this book encompasses all that is enthralling and intriguing about a good old-fashioned detective story: the secluded country house, the horrible murder committed from within, the parade of interesting suspects and last, but certainly not least, the highly-observant, puzzle-breaking detecti ve from Scotland Yard. Small wonder then, that this is the original real-life murder mystery on which all those detectives stories are modelled. ..." Read review
03.05.2010

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

A Victorian murder which revealed many dark secrets

AdvantagesFascinating story of a Victorian crime

DisadvantagesMaybe a little too much general background detail for all but the most enthusiastic reader

"On the night of 30 June 1860, the Kent family and their household went peacefully to bed as usual in their home, Road Hill House, on the Somerset/Wiltshire border. In the morning they awoke to find three year-old Saville missing. An exhaustive search of the house and estate led them to an outside lavatory. Peering inside, they found the boy’s body. His throat had been cut before he was unceremoniously pushed inside. A major police investigation revealed ..." Read review
15.12.2009

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

A Real Crime, A True Story, A Great Read

AdvantagesBeautifully written, captivating read

DisadvantagesNot a novel, so not to everyone's taste

"...I picked it up in the 2 for 1 sale at WH Smith thinking it was a nice-old fashioned murder mystery. It is, in fact, exactly that. The difference is that this murder actually happened and held the whole country in it's grip for many months as the investigation went on. Our setting is Road Hill House, in the village of Road in Wiltshire, close to the Somerset border. The house is occupied by the Kent family and their staff and the date is June 1860. ..." Read review
26.07.2009

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Murder, Mystery and Intrigue? Not much.

AdvantagesA thoroughly researched book on Early Policing and Victorian Social Class Structure

DisadvantagesNot what it leads you to believe it is.

"...Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder of Road Hill House' (yes that is the title not me unable to make up my mind on the book I'm reviewing) by Kate Summerscale has been every where the last few months. Published by Bloomsbury in April 2008 it has topped various best sellers lists. A Richard and Judy 2009 Book club book, it has won The Galaxy book of the year 2009 award, Th BBC Four Samual Johnson non-fiction book of the year 2008 prize and Play.com ..." Read review
26.04.2009

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Does the Title 'The Suspicions of Mr Whicher' work?

AdvantagesVery well researched and lays out all the facts

DisadvantagesTitle is misleading

"...place in Road Hill house. The book then explains how the death was investigated by calling in Mr Whicher, a renowned detective from Scotland Yard. There wasn’t the forensic evidence back then that we have today so Mr Whicher had to question all the people in the house and look for physical evidence that would tell him what happened. This was quite a hard job, especially trying to find out who is lying and who isn’t. I found that the book read too ..." Read review
24.03.2009

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 1ansy007

ansy007

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher is very well researched!

AdvantagesWell structured, informative

DisadvantagesSometimes a little difficult to read

"...with me and wasn't disappointed. The book tells the story of the murder of Saville Kent in 1860, a murder which gripped Britain at the time. It is clear that extensive research has gone into the book, with several acknowledgements to historical documents, newspapers and other sources throughout. The only disadvantages to the book are that it sometimes gets a little tricky to read as there is a lot of information to take in. However the family ..." Read review
14.07.2009

Ciao members have rated this review on average: helpful

Community Level 1Nikki459

Nikki459

Fascinating but some annoying tangents

AdvantagesIt's genuinely interesting and you want to know more when you have finished

DisadvantagesIt poses many unanswered questions that some people might find frustrating

"I found the subject matter of this book fascinating. The parallel between the press reaction and speculation to the Road Hill murder and the recent disappearance of Madeleine Mccann is striking. I am giving this book four stars because it really interested me and I feel I've learnt new things from reading it. I particularly enjoyed the first few chapters. They provide you with loads of information about the characters, setting and events surrounding ..." Read review
31.03.2009

Ciao members have rated this review on average: not helpful

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