The publisher, Pen & Sword, kindly offered me an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Britain’s Unsolved Murders by Kevin Turton via NetGalley. Yet, this is an honest review of the book expressing my humble opinion.
The book summary is very accurate in this case. “Spanning 100 years between 1857-1957, this book re-examines thirteen of these murder cases and retells the stories that have endured and confounded both police and law courts alike. Each chapter provides an account of the circumstances surrounding the killing, of the people caught up in the subsequent investigation and the impact it had on some of their lives.”
I found this book very informative regarding the details surrounding each crime but also regarding the people involved and their backstory. I got a very clear sense of place and time as well as the murder victims. The author provided with the backstory of each victim and in some cases the main murder suspects, which I valued greatly. Knowing the victim is essential in murder investigations, and I felt like the author accomplished that. I also liked that after each murder case presentation, the author offered his opinion and thoughts about how the case was handled. He was objective and offered good arguments that neither favored or condemned the main suspects. He raised important questions whose answers we still don’t know, and it’s probably why these cases are still open.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in cold cases (unsolved murders) and crime, in general. In fact, I loved this idea for a book, and I wish more books are published in the same vein. Show light over the cases that were neglected and mishandled. I applaud the author and publisher for writing and publishing this book. The victims need justice, and if that is not possible, the least we can do is remember them and have their voices heard.
Overall, what stood out to me in this book was the author’s objectivity and keen mind to raise questions the police at the time hadn’t bothered to ask. I’m looking forward to more books from this author, hoping for a sequel to this book perhaps. It’d be especially interesting to read about unsolved murders outside the UK.
*Spoiler following as I list which crimes the author presented in this book.*
!!The cases with (*) contain content warnings regarding sexual assault or murder of a child.
1. The Poisoning of Emile L’Angelier, 1857
2. The murder of John Gill, 1888
3. The murder of Windsor Dudley Cecil Hambrough, 1893
4. The murder of Rees Thomas Yells Brandish, 1897 *
5. The murder of Rose Harsent, 1902
6. The murder of Emily Dimmock, 1907
7. The murder of Caroline Mary Luard, 1908
8. The murder of Mabel Greenwood, 1919
9. The murder of Florence Nightingale Shore, 1920
10. The murder of Evelyn Foster, 1931 *
11. The murder of Doctor Angelos Zemenides, 1933
12. The murder of George and Lillian Peach, 1952
13. The murder of Ann Noblett *
5 stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Author: Kevin Turton
Publisher: Pen & Sword/Pen & Sword True Crime