Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher

This book first came to my notice when my one and only not-normal aunt (her words) recommended it to me. The copy I have belongs to my sister, a gift to her one christmas, possibly from me (it's so hard to remember, but I strongly suspect that it was so). I enjoyed this book, though I gather that others haven't. It's a history of detection in England and the detective novel. It's a biography of Mr Whicher and the Kent family. It's also a fascinating mystery about a murdered child.

If you only like the kinds of mysteries where everything is accounted for and 'solved' at the end, then this is not a book you should read. While, technically, the crime was solved when someone confessed, there were still unanswered questions and unexplained facts. There are ways to account for this, but one does not come away from this book feeling that the mystery has been solved satisfactorily. In many ways the book is rather depressing as one vicariously views the British media and public ruin the lives of both the family involved and the detectives trying to solve the case.

An interesting book. I enjoyed it, but I'm not really sure how I feel about it.

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