TITLE: THE SUSPICIONS OF MR. WHICHER OR, THE MURDER AT ROAD HILL HOUSE
AUTHOR: KATE SUMMERSCALE
Details: Non Fiction
One summer's night in 1860 a young boy is taken from his bed, murdered and left in the servant's toilet outside the house, where he is found the following day.
After the murder had been investigated unsatisfactory for two weeks by the local police, Jack Whicher of Scotland Yard is send down to investigate.
Up to that point Whicher was a successful and popular investigator, but traditional class distinctions, opposition from the local police and partial interference from the press mean that he has to leave the case unsolved.
Although years later, after he has resigned his job disillusioned, the person he had accused of the crime does confess, this come too late to resurrect his career.
The murder and it's investigation caused a sensation at the time and captured the public's imagination, especially because it was clear that the murderer had to have been a member of the household.
This murder, and the way it was written about in the press gave rise to the birth of the modern detective novel, and that made this book an intriguing read for a huge fan of that genre, like me.
Although the book didn't and couldn't answer any remaining questions, it did paint a good picture of the times and the circumstances of the investigation.