The character of Alfred Kemble is created using the public essence of the famous Sir Bernard Spilsbury, but this is in no way a biography. His physicality, court presence and most famous cases are borrowed, but all else is a product of Levene’s vivid imagination and dark humour, backed up by thorough research.
Levene’s clipped and witty prose paints a picture of 1929 London as a bleak world of conflict between public and private: social niceties and outward modesty contrast vividly with private abandon and bloody mayhem.
If you devour details of historic cases such as the “Brides in the Bath Murders” and enjoy a heroine who is acerbically naive, then you must read this book and add Louise Levene to your list of preferred authors, as I have.
Author: Louise Levene
Reviewed by Monica F, Orewa Library
Monica F is happiest in gumboots and apron, attending to her animals, harvesting her crops and making stuff. Like all truly wholesome people, she has a dark side, and enjoys nothing better than well written true crime and forensic medicine.