Monday, May 30, 2016

Murder, He Wrote ...

Title: Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane by Paul Thomas Murphy
First Line: He stumbled upon her at 4:15 on Wednesday morning, April 26, 1871, half an hour before the sun rose, just as definition and color began to bleed into the amorphous black and gray.

My thoughts: This is the true story of murder in Victorian England and the police investigation and trials that followed. It's well-written and oddly compelling. Maid-of-all-work Jane Maria Clouson was seventeen and pregnant when she was viciously attacked and left for dead. The principal suspect in her murder? Edmund Pook, her former employer's twenty-year-old son and Jane's alleged lover. Jane's sad story swept the country as did Pook's arrest and subsequent trial. The author deftly chronicles both. Forensic science was in its infancy in 1871 and I found it interesting what the police could prove, and what they couldn't. Their investigation was far from perfect, but they tried their best to get justice for Jane. I found it sad that they couldn't. Overall, this was a fascinating look at mystery and murder in Victorian England.


Title: Shatter by Michael Robotham
First Line:  It's eleven o'clock in the morning, late September, and outside it's raining so hard that cows are floating down rivers and birds are resting on their bloated bodies.

My thoughts:  Clinical psychologist, Joe O'Loughlin is on the case again when a woman's suicide turns out to be something more. At first the police don't want to believe that there's a serial killer inciting these deaths. Then a second woman dies. The suspense in this psychological thriller really amps up when Joe's investigation puts his own wife and daughter in danger. Once I started this book, I did not want to put it down. Robotham has written another compelling mystery with a white-knuckle ending. I liked it as much as Say You're Sorry and Bleed For Me. (Just watch out for overuse of the F-word.)

Happy Reading!



8 comments:

  1. I haven't read Shatter, but it is on my list (as you know, I'm a fan of this series!). Pretty Jane sounds interesting, too. After reading Wicked, I'm onboard with another Victorian true crime.

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    1. You'll like both of these books.

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  2. I didn't even know about the murder portrayed in the first book. It sounds fascinating. So they never really knew who did it? That's so sad!

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    1. They were never able to prove who murdered her...which was a little sad. But I found her life even sadder than her death. Evidently being a poor and uneducated maid-of-all-work is not something anyone would ever aspire to being.

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  3. These two books sound so intriguing! Will have to check them out.

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    1. Hope you like them as much as I did. :)

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  4. Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane sounds like something I would really like. I find early forensic investigation history so fascinating.

    I've enjoyed Michael Robotham's books in the past and imagine I would like Shatter.

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    1. Both books are well-written, interesting, and worth reading!

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