By Kate Summerscale
From the across the world bestselling writer, a deeply researched and atmospheric homicide secret of past due Victorian-era London
In the summer season of 1895, Robert Coombes (age thirteen) and his brother Nattie (age 12) have been obvious spending lavishly round the docklands of East London -- for ten days in July, they ate out at espresso homes and took journeys to the beach and the theater. the men informed acquaintances they'd been left domestic by myself whereas their mom visited relations in Liverpool, yet their aunt used to be suspicious. while she ultimately compelled the brothers to open the home to her, she chanced on the badly decomposed physique in their mom in a bed room upstairs. Robert and Nattie have been arrested for matricide and despatched for trial on the outdated Bailey.
Robert confessed to having stabbed his mom, yet his legal professionals argued that he was once insane. Nattie struck a plea and gave proof opposed to his brother. The courtroom heard testimony approximately Robert's serious complications, his fascination with violent criminals and his ardour for 'penny dreadfuls', the pulp fiction of the day. He looked as if it would suppose no regret for what he had performed, and neither the prosecution nor the safety may well discover a intent for the homicide. The pass judgement on sentenced the thirteen-year-old to detention in Broadmoor, the main notorious felony lunatic asylum within the land. but Broadmoor grew to become out to be the start of a brand new existence for Robert--one that might have profoundly surprised a person who concept they understood the depraved Boy.
At a time of significant tumult and uncertainty, Robert Coombes's case crystallized modern anxieties in regards to the schooling of the operating sessions, the risks of pulp fiction, and evolving theories of illegal activity, early life, and madness. With riveting aspect and wealthy surroundings, Kate Summerscale recreates this poor crime and its aftermath, uncovering a unprecedented tale of man's means to beat the prior.