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The suspicions of Mr Whicher

(33 Posts)
Maria2007 Wed 08-Jul-09 17:41:46

Not sure if this should go in adult fiction or adult non fiction (since it's a bit like a detective novel aka fiction, but actually is based on true story). Have just started reading this & am captivated, it's really fascinating & written in a very interesting, factual, dry way with no emotionality. Anyone else read it? By the way, I'm just only 1/3rd through so please please please don't spoil the ending!!

LaDiDaDi Wed 08-Jul-09 17:44:43

I really enjoyed it too and it was a total change from my usual reading material.

So much period detail that was fascinating, it made me think a lot about the media and public perceptions and how things have changed or not.

Maria2007 Wed 08-Jul-09 17:48:22

Yes exactly LaDiDaDi, there is loads of period detail which is fascinating, you're right. I'm reading it right after finishing 'the little stranger' by Sarah Waters, and that I read right after finishing 'Rebecca' by Daphne de Maurier so I'm kind of plunged for the last 2 months into late 19th century Victorian England & big families in huge houses with lots of servants... I'm finding in particular the descriptions of the houses in all these books utterly absorbing.

Itsjustafleshwound Wed 08-Jul-09 17:49:49

Is this extra-curricular reading Maria ?? grin

MarsLady Wed 08-Jul-09 17:53:44

Very very good book! I really enjoyed it.

Not a quick read by any means, but totally fascinating. grin

MildredRoper Wed 08-Jul-09 17:54:25

Yes I have. I found the discussion about Victorian ideas around family privacy very interesting. Especially when you compare it to now, when people have television cameras in their homes, and the state has quite a lot of power over our family lives.

I found the story of the murder very disturbing though!

MildredRoper Wed 08-Jul-09 18:00:21

The house is still there although it's called something else. If you google you can see present day pictures of it. But don't google until you've finished or you will see who done it.

BirdyArms Wed 08-Jul-09 18:06:55

I'm about 1/3 way though it and am really enjoying it, although find some of the historical parts, particularly the references to Dickens and Wilkie Collins, are interupting my fascination with the details of the family and the house.

scaredofthegarden Wed 08-Jul-09 18:09:12

I have to admit I was disappointed by it. I enjoyed it but not as much as I thought i would from the reviews on the back cover.

Now reading Cloud Atlas and 20 pages in I'm having to sit with a dictionary!

Off to google the house!!

thegrowlygus Wed 08-Jul-09 18:15:55

I really enjoyed it to a point. Then got to the end and went "oh". Actually out loud. And not in a delighted kind of way - just a very quiet, "oh that's that then" kind of way!

loler Wed 08-Jul-09 19:14:28

I have just started it - I'm interested in it as I'm a health and safety inspector - wish I could afford a house with all the servants!

Finding it a bit tough to get into as I have to concentrate on what's being said - not my average chick lit type rubbish I normally read.

yappybluedog Wed 08-Jul-09 19:42:44

It was ok, I skipped bits, it got a bit soggy in the middle

MrsSprat Wed 08-Jul-09 19:51:15

It was skilfull, but left me a bit cold tbh.

Was certainly pretty dry, and all of the people seemed very remote and difficult to relate to somehow.

The books I enjoy most can inspire me to write myself, but the almost obsessive level of detail in Whicher was all a bit intimidating for my liking.

Hassled Wed 08-Jul-09 19:53:51

Oh I loved this book - and am forcing DH to read it now. It was strangely complusive - and so well-researched. I loved the obsessive level of detail - not sure what that says about me .

DollyPardonme Wed 08-Jul-09 19:58:03

I loved it,I read a lot of crime fiction but this was something else : disturbing because true and grisly, but I loved the social history etc. Hard for Kate S to repeat I should think though - anyone know if she has anything else in the pipeline?

Pennies Wed 08-Jul-09 19:58:51

Aaarrggh hated it. Opening was excellent but the rest was turgid and repetitive. I second the annoyance at the constant references to Dickins and Collins and the pseudo fiction element of it wound me up (e.g. what Whicher had for dinner after a hard day examining nightdresses, what was going through his head as he caught the 10:53 from Paddington, which departed from platform 4 etc etc). Yawn.

sherby Wed 08-Jul-09 20:03:09

I gave up about 2/3 through and I NEVER do that

All the refering back to other cases bored me to tears

Pennies Wed 08-Jul-09 20:07:35

2/3 sherby? You did well. Barely made it to halfway before giving up. Can only think of about 2 other books that I've done that with.

janeite Wed 08-Jul-09 20:12:42

I am going against the grain here - I loved the Dickens and Collins references and the links to the detective fiction genre; loved the 'character' of the detective too but thought as a narrative it dragged on and on and on and got really boring at the end.

Dizzyclarebear Wed 08-Jul-09 20:16:06

Pennies and Sherby - as someone who gave up several days of their life for this - you made the right decision. grin

However, go back and read the last 1 or 2 chapters - that's a really interesting story and I felt cheated that I'd had to read all the author's detailed research (which is basically the rest of the book) and then the interesting bits of the story (IMHO) are really rushed and felt almost as an after thought.

pickyvic Wed 08-Jul-09 21:03:09

i read it and thought it was dull dull dull. i did manage to stick with it but mainly cos i was trapped on a train with nothing but that to read!
i couldnt help but feel strange about it knowing it was about a real life child murder though.
it won the galaxy book award thingy and i cant think why when "the gargoyle" and "when will there be good news" were also competitors.

janeite Wed 08-Jul-09 21:04:04

I enjoyed The gargoyle much more. The Atkinson less so.

FiveGoMadInDorset Wed 08-Jul-09 21:09:00

Gave up about half way through, was very dull.

DollyPardonme Wed 08-Jul-09 21:11:50

dim question here, but who is the gargoyle by, is it fiction?

I love all the Jackson Brodies, difficult to rate them against Whicher though.

janeite Wed 08-Jul-09 21:13:33

It's fiction but I forget who by. Think it was a R and J but don't let that put you off. It was really interesting.

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