In November 1856, George Little, a cashier at the Broadstone railway terminus in Dublin was found brutally murdered in his office. With piles of money left lying around, theft did not seem like the motive but in perhaps what was the most perplexing part of the story, the door of the office was locked from the inside. How did the killer escape if not through the door? Top detectives were summoned from London, including the well-known Jonathan Whicher, to no avail. Who did kill George Little?
This true crime has been thoroughly researched by the author and from the outset we are given a clear picture of Dublin and how easy it was for a family to fall into poverty. In a country that had recently suffered from a famine that had killed an estimated one million people and driven a further million away from their homes in the hope of starting a new life, the unexpected death of the chief wage earner could be catastrophic.
There are many aspects to the story which will appeal to fans of true crime and crime fiction alike. The murder itself is well-detailed as is the police investigation and the ensuing trial. There are red herrings a-plenty as we are introduced to a plethora of suspects, the investigators clearly struggling to find the culprit with no clues and unreliable witnesses.
I think that my favourite part of the story is what happened after the trial, the author again showing their meticulous research in order to build up a complete picture of how the case impacted on those involved.
A thoroughly enjoyable discussion on a case that had been previously unfamiliar to me.