Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane

A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder
Author(s): Paul Thomas Murphy
Awards:2017-Best Fact Crime-Nominee-Edgar Award
Original Publish Date: Apr 11, 2016
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (8.98 hours)
Product Number: Z100116433
Released: Apr 11, 2016
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781504692373
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A vivid and violent investigation into a shocking and unsolved 1871 murder in London, by the author of the New York Times Notable Book Shooting Victoria On April 26th, 1871, a police constable walking one of London's remotest beats stumbled upon a brutalized young woman kneeling on a muddy road-gashes were cloven into her skull, her left cheek was slashed open and smashed in, her right eye was destroyed, and above it a chunk of the temporal bone had been bashed out. The policeman gaped in horror as the woman held out her hand before collapsing into the mud, muttering "let me die" and slipping into a coma. Five days later, she died, her identity still unknown. Within hours of her discovery on Kidbrooke Lane, scores of the officers of the Greenwich Division were involved in the investigation, and Scotland Yard had sent one of its top detectives, John Mulvany, to lead it. After five days of gathering evidence, the police discovered the girl's identity: Jane Maria Clouson, a maid in the house of the renowned Pook family...?nd she was two months' pregnant with Edmund Pook's child when she died. Murphy carefully reviews the evidence in the light of twenty-first-century forensic science in order to identify Jane's killer as Edmund Walter Pook. Using a surprisingly abundant collection of primary sources, Murphy aims to re-create the drama of the case as it unfolded, with its many twists and turns, from the discovery of the body to the final crack of the gavel-and beyond.

Professional reviews

"Narrator Tim Gerard Reynolds brings this true crime a storyteller's gift for capturing and holding his audience. In 1871, teenager Jane Clouson was struck 15 times, crushing her skull and destroying her face. She was two months pregnant when she was attacked, and she died several days later. Jane was a "maid of all work" in the Pook home, and the police were convinced the killer was Pook's son, Edmund. The arrest of the prominent young man for Jane's brutal murder and his subsequent acquittal due to lack of evidence suggest that in the time period, one's social class was more significant than one's sins, and that police and prosecutorial procedures weren't all they might have been. Reynolds makes this look at Victorian class and judicial systems top-notch listening. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"

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