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Britain’s Unsolved Murders (Paperback)

British History True Crime P&S History 20th Century 19th Century

By Kevin Turton
Imprint: Pen & Sword True Crime
Pages: 139
ISBN: 9781526726322
Published: 9th September 2019

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Britain has its fair share of unsolved murders. Crimes that have both fascinated and horrified in equal measure, with many as baffling today as they were when the stories first hit the headlines in the national press. 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. It also explores the question of guilt and to whom it should, or should not, be attached. Each of these murders poses an undeniable truth; no-one was ever proven to have committed the killing despite, in some cases, accusing fingers being pointed, arrests being made and show trials taking place. Consequently, notoriety, deserved or otherwise, was often attached to both victim and accused. But was it ever merited?

From the questionable court case surrounding Scotland’s now famous Madeleine Smith, and the failed police investigation into Bradford’s Jack the Ripper case of 1888, to the mysterious deaths of Caroline Luard and Florence Nightingale Shore at the start of the twentieth century, this book disturbs the dust, sifts the facts and poses the questions that mattered at the time of each murder. Did Harold Greenwood poison his wife in Kidwelly? Who was responsible for the Ripper-like killing of Emily Dimmock and Rose Harsent? Why did Evelyn Foster die on the moor near Otterburn in what became known as the Blazing car murder and who strangled Ann Noblett to death in 1957?

These are just some of the cases examined and the stories behind them. Each and every one, no matter how appalling the crime, still deserving of justice.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This was a crime lovers dream. Fascinating cases , thought provoking and well written it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. It examined cases unknown to me , with all the details available. A well researched and thought out examination.

NetGalley, Sarah Dickinson

This is a good read for true crime lovers who enjoy a mystery and like cold cases.

NetGalley, Valerie Shampine

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

An read interesting read about 13 unsolved murders between 1857-1957 in Britain. I had already read about a few of cases mentioned in the book but still the book held my interest. Two cases I found intriguing were the murder of George and Lillian Peach, 1952 and the murder of Evelyn Foster, 1931.

Overall the book is very informativy it gives the reader all details the need to know circumstances surrounding each crime it also gives information regarding the people involved in each case.

Definitely recommended to true crime readers.

NetGalley, S Ballinger

I am a massive true crime fan so this book was right up my street – I do love an unsolved murder!

I knew a few of the stories that are featured in the book but in the main, the majority of the cases that were mentioned in the book were new to me, or the author has added details I was not aware of and that made it all the more enjoyable.

I thought that the length of the chapters was great, there was plenty of detail and it allowed me to find out more if I wanted to outside of the book – I think it would be a great introduction to the different crimes if people wanted to go off and read more around the different murders.

It is 4 stars from me for this one, I really enjoyed the layout and the length of the book as perfect for me! I loved being able to dip in and out of the different cases - Highly recommended!!

NetGalley, Donna Maguire

This is a very interesting book starting with an unsolved case from 1857 and moving through the next one hundred years to the final investigation in 1957. With the gift of hindsight and the huge advances in forensic science and policing methods it is easy to scoff at some of the decisions made by the investigating officers but without these improvements it is clear there would be far more of these unsolved killings across the world.

In each case the author ends the chapter with his opinion as to what really happened and this gives a more modern interpretation of the crime committed and why those who were suspected of murder weren't convicted. In some instances the cases made it all the way to trial and the onus was transferred to the members of the general public who had been sworn in as the jury to make the final decision.

I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an unbiased review and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about unsolved true crime stories where, by the end, you don't know whodunnit, which in this book happens not once but thirteen times!

NetGalley, Tracy Wood

A good solid book for the true crime fan.
It was well researched and written.

NetGalley, Karen Kenyon

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

For this mystery and true-crime buff gal, this book is excellent at detailing and explaining some of Britain's most notorious murders, specifically Jack the Ripper, and dating back as early as 1857 to 1957. Some of these murders I've never heard of, as I'm an American citizen, and not native to London. Each chapter is dedicated to a notorious murder that was never solved, detailing the victim's early beginnings to their unfortunate demise. It's not a quick read, but gives immense detail and insight into victim's, their murder, and why it may have come about.

NetGalley, Lindsey Borders

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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.

NetGalley, Athena Greyson

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous and interesting book for true crime lovers. This book is really fascinating and well written.

NetGalley, Heather Bennett

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

When one thinks of unsolved murders in Ritalin, the Jack the Ripper case comes to mind.
This book reexamines this famous case again, and gives you pause for thought who the real killer was.
It also examines the Madeline Smith case and eleven other infamous murders
The book delves into the crime itself, the motives, and possible suspects.
I used to think Britain was very safe, but after reading this book, I realize that murder is lurking around e dry corner.
This is a great book for true crime fanatics.

NetGalley, Barbara Kalman

A short, yet surprising comprehensive look at a number of unsolved murders throughout Britain over the ages. These murders range from arsenic poisonings, shootings, and even to a descendant of Florence Nightingale’s supposed ‘train robbery’ beating. I didn’t know anything about a lot of the murders described, and the author goes into a decent amount of detail about what happens for each of them... Recommend for anyone interested in British true crime in bite sized chunks.

NetGalley, Sara Garry

This was an interesting bind-up of true crime with a lot of the cases I've never heard of before.

NetGalley, Bethany Younge

A short and at times interesting read about 13 unsolved murders between 1857-1957 in Britain. Each case is presented with backstory, description of the murder itself and the following investigation. One wonders how many of these murders would have been solved if the forensic science we have today was available to the police back then.

NetGalley, Sarah Matsson-Klingzell

About Kevin Turton

Author Kevin Turton has been writing non-fiction since the mid 1990s and to date has published twelve books covering history and true crime. He now writes full time from his home in Northamptonshire

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