The Suspicions of Mr Whicher : or the Murder at Road Hill House
by Kate Summerscale
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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It’s a summer night in 1860.In an elegant detached from the Georgian house in the village of the Road, in Wiltshire, everything is calm.Behind the window shutters of the Kent family windows is in a deep sleepAt some point, after midnight, a dog barks.The family wakes up the next morning for a horrible discovery: an incredibly horrible assassination took place in their home.The household reverberates with shock, not least because the culprit is probably still among them.Jack Whicher of Scotland Yard, the most famous detective of his time, reached Road Hill House a fortnight later.He faces an unenviable task: to solve a case in which the grieving family is the suspects.Murder causes national hysteria.The thought of what might be purulent behind the closed doors of respectable middle-class residences – conspirators, servants, rebellious children, madness, jealousy, loneliness and self-loathing – arouses fear and excitement of some sort.But when Whicher reaches his shocking conclusion there is tumult and confusion.A true story that has inspired a generation of writers such as Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, which has all the characteristics of the classic murder and mystery – a body; a detective; a country house hiding secrets.In The suspicions of Mr. Whicher Kate Summerscale unravels the facts behind this infamous affair, to bring him back to life alive, extraordinary life.
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