The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher
Kate Summerscale, , read by Simon Vance. . HighBridge Audio, $34.95 ( , unabridged, eight CDs, 10 hrs., $34.95 ISBN p) ISBN 978-1-59887-849-3
Simon Vance does a fine job reading this unusually detailed and thoughtful true crime investigation into a notorious child murder case in 1860 London. At the time, there were only eight detectives working in England. Scotland Yard’s top man was Insp. Jonathan Whicher, and he headed the investigation. Intertwined with the tale of detection in its infancy is a fascinating examination of the role played by this case and its inspector in the creation of the detective novel genre by the likes of Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Occasionally, the large number of characters that listeners must sort through can become confusing. HighBridge helpfully provides a printed who’s who inside the CD box. Vance’s perfect diction and agile acting skills are always a pleasure for listeners, and Summerscale’s achievement is a must for anyone who loves detective stories, but this audio requires exceptional concentration.
Reviewed on: 12/22/2008