What a disappointment. The author had a chance to treat the Evans/Christie cases with some respect for the historical truth that it deserves, but she has ignored that opportunity. The execution of Timothy Evans in 1950 was a gross miscarriage of justice, which was eventually recognised by the courts, politicians and by the public. Indeed, it led directly to the abolition of capital punishment in the UK when it became obvious that an innocent man had been executed. But this novel twists and distorts the truth in a despicable way. We as readers are asked to accept that the detectives acted in good faith in dealing with Evans when it is clear that they bullied Evans into several false confessions using threats of violence. The police concocted statements in which they put forward their biased version of events without checking their veracity. They bungled the searches of the garden at Rillington Place, where even a cursory inspection would have revealed the bones of Christie's earlier victims lying visible on the surface. Despite knowing that Christie had criminal convictions, they accepted his statements without question, and without any serious checks. When the workmen at the house contradicted their ideas, they rejected, distorted and destroyed the evidence. What is even more shocking about the case is the way the judiciary tried to cover up the police incompetence in the two enquiries which followed. Laura Wilson has missed a great opportunity to expose the truth about the Evans case, and her depiction of Stratton as one of the detectives handling the Evans case at the time fails miserably. By not probing more deeply, the police and judiciary left us all with a poisoned legacy. We all know now of the extent of police malpractice and corruption by the deplorable sequence of further miscarriages of justice that have occurred since the Evans case. To those readers who want to know the truth about this shocking case, they should read Michael Eddowe's book (The Man on your Conscience), Ludovic Kennedy's book, (10 Rillington Place) and F Tennyson Jesse's book (The Trials of Evans and Christie).
I found the book to be a good novel,I stress novel.The author says it is a novel based on a true event but still a novel.I have read all three of her "DI Stratton" books and enjoyed them.I hope a forth is coming.