Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord's. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbours, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next ten days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents' valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the 'penny dreadful' novels that Robert loved to read. In The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale has uncovered a fascinating true story of murder and morality - it is not just a meticulous examination of a shocking Victorian case, but also a compelling account of its aftermath, and of man's capacity to overcome the past.
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by Kate Williams
by Kate Summerscale
by Kate Milford
by Kate Carlisle
by Kate Elliott
by Kate Johnson
by Kate McMullan
by Kate Hardy
by Kate Banks
"Narrator Corrie James's crisp British accent is a decided advantage for the listener, given the density of detail Summerscale incorporates into this story of sin and redemption in Victorian England. Along with a historically accurate account of a gruesome crime and its aftermath, Summerscale presents a vivid look at working-class life in London's East End and in Australia from the mid-1800s until after WWII. James's ability to transition smoothly from the standard English of the narrative passages to dialogue featuring both Cockney and Aussie accents adds even more authenticity to this elaborately researched analysis of the ghastly matricide that captivated England in the 1890s. Riveting text and masterful presentation blend wonderfully to create a gripping and informative audiobook. M.O.B. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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