Today dear readers I am on the blog tour for The Dublin Railway Murder (Published 11 November 2021) By Thomas Morris. A big thank you to the publishers Harvill Secker for sending me a copy to read and review, always appreciated. Also to the wonderful Anne for the invite, always a pleasure to work with.
The Dublin Railway Murder
A thrilling and perplexing investigation of a true Victorian crime at a Dublin railway station.
Dublin, November 1856: George Little, the chief cashier of the Broadstone railway terminus, is found dead, lying in a pool of blood beneath his desk.
He has been savagely beaten, his head almost severed; there is no sign of a murder weapon, and the office door is locked, apparently from the inside. Thousands of pounds in gold and silver are left untouched at the scene of the crime.
Augustus Guy, Ireland’s most experienced detective, teams up with Dublin’s leading lawyer to investigate the murder. But the mystery defies all explanation, and two celebrated sleuths sent by Scotland Yard soon return to London, baffled.
Five suspects are arrested then released, with every step of the salacious case followed by the press, clamouring for answers. But then a local woman comes forward, claiming to know the murderer….
The Dublin Railway Murder tells the story of the extraordinary 1856 murder mystery that gripped a nation – and the sensational trial that followed. Thomas Morris discovered a treasure trove of contemporary documents in the Irish national archives – including original police interviews, surveillance reports and secret government memos, undisturbed for years – that have allowed him to reconstruct the twists and turns of a complex nineteenth-century murder inquiry in unprecedented detail. The Dublin Railway Murder is a fascinating in-depth investigation that reads like a mystery novel.
About The Author
Thomas Morris is a writer and historian. His first book The Matter of the Heart (Bodley Head, 2017), a critically-acclaimed history of cardiac surgery, won a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for non-fiction. He is also the author of The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth (Bantam, 2018). He was previously a BBC radio producer for 18 years, and his freelance journalism has appeared in publications including The Times, The Lancet and the TLS.
On November 1856 in Dublin, George Little the chief cashier of Broadstone railway terminus is found dead in his office. He has been violently beaten with his head almost severed off. He is surrounded by piles of cash and there seems to be no sign of a disturbance. The blind is down, the window and door are locked. What’s the most chilling fact of all is there is no sign of a murder weapon.
The story is told in 5 parts, The Murder, The Investigation, The Suspect, The Trial, The Phrenologist, and then a epilogue at the end. This helps the reader follow the series of events in the correct order so they can begin to piece together how and why this happened.
I adore a who-dun-it story, a crime detective case as it gets me thinking outside the box. This sensational true story of a Victorian murder mystery had me hooked. I was soaking up every extract of information, keeping a look out for clues. I was determined to discover who Little’s murderer was and the reason behind it. You have to remind yourself at times that this is a true story, it actually happened as Morris has a natural style of writing it like fiction.
The in-depth research and resources that Morris has obtained to help reconstruct this 19th century murder investigation is fascinating to read. He has included in his writing original police interviews and all characters identified by name are real people and biographical details however minor are genuine. The detail is immense and you feel fully immersed in this mystery. Morris shows the complete picture of the investigation from the day of the murder and Little’s last known steps to the final outcome. It’s a gripping read and you are shocked at how much of a mess the whole case became. The case baffled everyone.
The minute the murder got out in the newspaper it caused a frenzy. The case became known as The Broadstone murder with both the victim and his suspected killer becoming household names. In five hours since the discovery of Little’s body the crime scene was littered with people coming and going, picking up objects, moving stuff about and leaving few, if any forensic secrets long gone.
I felt a chill down my spine as I followed George Little’s last moments on earth. Watching him leave his home, number 58 Waterloo Road that he shared with his sister Kate, elderly mother and an aunt in poor health at just after 8 am as he made his way to work. George was quiet, had few friends but was well-liked. He would avoid conflict and loathed the idea of leaving a task unfinished. He would often work late long after everybody else had gone home. Oh George, if only you knew what was going to happen that unfortunate day. No one should go out like that.
At first people assumed that George had taken his own life. He was entrusted with thousands of pounds in cash and it was easy to assume he could have been caught with his fingers in the till. Instead of facing the consequences he would rather end his life. But Doctor Jennings discovers that his head is covered with wounds and calls it without a doubt murder.
Morris creates an eerie atmosphere as George is left alone in the office counting the money. The reader is fully aware that something is about to happen. My heart was in my mouth and I was biting my nails with the sheer anticipation for the sinister act to occur.
The more the reader learns about the crime scene, the more it forces you to think. We learn of who else was around at the time of events and who knew about the money in the office. It is George’s sister who raises the alarm when she reports that he had not returned home the previous night. The reader discovers that the door is locked and they soon find a way in through a window on the back staircase but it has been roughly secured by a single nail driven through the bottom sash. The door is locked from the inside, the window was fastened and the blinds down. How did the murderer get out? There is no sign of forced entry or struggle. So what happened? So many questions whirl around your head and like the police you become overwhelmed. But you want to continue on, you have to, you can’t look away now you’ve become involved in a murder mystery that gripped the nation.
I give The Dublin Railway Murder By Thomas Morris a Five out of Five paw rating.
This book will leave you stunned. This is an intense read and left me speechless…just WOW.
I was on edge the whole time, suspecting everyone as Little’s murderer. Morris absorbs you fully into this tragic, unfortunate situation. You feel a part of it, being a witness to the discovery of Little’s body, interviewing suspects and sitting in a jury. It takes a hold of you and you fully accept it.
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below, enjoy!
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