An exhaustive account of the murder of a prostitute, Emily Dimmock, in Camden Town in 1906. It seems unlikely that the author has left an stone unturned. Nevertheless, he cannot conclusively name the culprit. The most likely suspect seems to have been Robert Wood, a young man who had been seen consorting with Emily and whose postcard arranging a rendezvous with Emily on the night she was killed was found in her flat. Wood's subsequent behaviour was to lie repeatedly and to attempt to manufacture an alibi. However, amid much public celebration, Wood was acquitted at his trial. No one else was ever charged.
This book is an incredibly full account of every detail surrounding the murder, including that Camden Town was named a former Attorney General who lived at Camden Place in Chislehurst, that Emily once worked as a chamber maid at the Swan Hotel in Bedford, that one of the witnesses at the trial was an extraordinarily dodgy character who specialised in arson insurance claims when living in New Zealand and who dies in Australia as the result of an explosion whilst setting up another arson-based insurance fraud. Lots of really interesting stuff. Unfortunately the author's habit of chasing down every alley and revealing every detail left me reeling. It was difficult enough given that Emily associated with many dodgy men (she worked as a prostitute) and so there was a plethora of suspects but I found it very difficult to see any sort of Wood for the multiplicity of trees.
December 2018; 313 pages (of small print)
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57