The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher / The Murder at Road Hill House. – Kate Summerscale.
Synopsis from the back of the book.
It is midnight on the 30th of June 1860 and all is quiet in the Kent family’s elegant house in Road, Wiltshire. The next morning, however, they wake to find their youngest son has been the victim of unimaginably gruesome murder. Even worse, the guilty party is surely one of their number – the house was bolted from the inside. As Jack Whicher, the most celebrated detective of his day, arrives at Road to track down the killer, the murder provokes national hysteria at the thought of what might be festering between the closed doors of respectable middle-class homes – scheming servants, rebellious children, insanity, jealousy, loneliness and loathing.
Well.. I’ve taken just over a month to finish this book that I have been reading called ‘The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher.‘, by Kate Summerscale. However, it’s not from want of trying; it’s just purely the face that I’ve had so much to concentrate on with exams, and the revising that comes with that.
The novel was good though, entertaining and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The suspense throughout the story-line, the characters and the general plot just had me captivated, intrigued and wanting to read on (despite not having time). The book is based on a true story, of the murder of a young child in an old Victorian house. Most of the novel is based on information from actual metropolitan police files. I didn’t know anything about it before I started and I did have to resist from reading upon about it to find out what happened. This is credit to the author, Summerscale for writing a good novel, keeping the reader hooked. The is because I continued to read on knowing that it would take me longer to find out who actually committed the murder, rather than looking it up on the internet and finding out much easier. The story is written in a way that will keep you guessing. The characters are what made this story for me. The book has all manner of characters, from ‘Scheming servants and rebellious children‘ as it says on the blurb, to mysterious parents and even a suspicious house-maid.
Overall it was an enthralling read.. and although was slightly tricky in parts with many references to other novels, these didn’t really hinder the reader and didn’t make you want to stop reading. 7/10.