Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.
This week my opener comes from Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A Victorian Murder Mystery Solved by Paul Thomas Murphy.
A page-turning true-crime narrative forms a thrilling reconstruction of a brutal Victorian murder, in which Paul Thomas Murphy identifies, after 144 years, the killer responsible for the slaying of Jane Maria Clouson.
In April 1871, a constable walking a beat near Greenwich found a girl dying in the mud – her face cruelly slashed and her brains protruding from her skull.
The girl was Maria Jane Clouson, a maid for the respectable Pook family, and who was pregnant at the time of her death. When the blood-spattered clothes of the 20-year-old Edmund Pook, alleged father of the dead girl’s unborn child, were discovered, the matter seemed open and shut. Yet there followed a remarkable legal odyssey full of unexpected twists as the police struggled to build a case.
Paul Thomas Murphy recreated the drama of an extraordinary murder case and conclusively identifies the killer’s true identity. NetGalley
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First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro
LET ME DIE
He stumbled upon her at 4:15 on Wednesday morning, April 26, 1871, half an hour before the sun rose, just as definition and colour began to bleed into the amorphous black and grey. Donald Gunn, a police constable of R, or Greenwich Division of the London Metropolitan police, was at the extremity of his beat, which had taken him from Shooter’s Hill southwest through the smaller town of Eltham, and then northeast to this deserted road flanked by market gardens and bisected by the little rivulet-Kid Brook-that gave this road its name – Kidbrooke Lane. Kidbrooke Lane provided a direct route between the Kent countryside and the metropolis, but few carriages or wagons travelled that way, as it was muddy, rutted-nearly impassable. The lane’s adjoining footpath, however was drier, and during the day the route was well frequented by pedestrians, particularly in the evenings: then, the area around Kidbrooke Lane became a well-known haven for lovers, the surrounding fields offering the perfect space apart for lovemaking, just minutes from the bustle of southeast London, but a world away from the relentless attention of the city, and particularly from prying parental eyes.
This extract comes from a proof copy
So what do you think? Quite a long lead-in but I think it is giving us a very good picture of the place of the murder.
Please leave your thoughts and links in the envelope below!