This excellently read, painstakingly researched audiobook tells the story of a factual Victorian railway murder and the subsequent pursuit of justice. It is however, much more than a whodunnit and it explores arguments about the management of evidence, the astute questioning of witnesses and moreover it debates the morality of capital punishment. The closing few chapters are tense, gripping and almost unbearable. the final chapter is perhaps a wee bit too long...phrenology indeed!
The book started slowly for me whilst the author necessarily established facts, but quickly gathered pace to an extent that I listened to the whole thing in just two sittings.
Comparisons with The Suspicions of Mr Whicher are as inevitable as they are invidious. I enjoyed both books although truthfully speaking, this one just edged it for me.
I had credits building up and so took a punt on this book after reading reviews of the hard copy on Amazon. It really was as flukey as that.
Well, this turned out to be a literally unputdownable audiobook, so much so that I listened to it in virtually a single sitting (pausing only for lunch).
Adjectives don't adequately capture the engrossing, page turning nature of this tale which evokes, through the excellent reading of a brilliantly constructed text an almost unbelievably tense and courageous story.
I'm aware that my hyperbole could put potential listeners off, but I hope that it doesn't - courage of the kind described here reminds one of the selfless people who won our liberty and whose existence must be celebrated (spoiler alert - at last!).
I am left, after my marathon listen, informed, exhausted, amazed, saddened, frustrated and exhilarated (oops - those pesky adjectives).
So much given, so little asked.
The intertwined stories of the rise and fall of a great family and of the coal mining industry are grippingly told and very well read.
Unbelieveable as fiction, the fact that this is a true story makes for some jaw-dropping moments as well as capturing a slice of recent social history. "The Fosdyke Saga" it ain't! Recommended.