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THE WICKED BOY KATE SUMMERSCALE

July 5, 2016

9781408851142

THE WICKED BOY KATE SUMMERSCALE

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.
MY REVIEW
Kate summerscale has written a masterpiece about a true crime. The Wicked Boy is a beautiful book with maps and pictures about an investigation in 1895 when thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie are swept up in a criminal trail.  Robert Coombes had stabbed his mother to death. This is a fascinating page turner of a true story of murder. I won this book in a competition. I am grateful to Bloomsbury for sending me this book to read and review.

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