|February 12th, 2017, 08:09 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2011
For some random reason, the next choice was Tom Slemen - JtR British Intelligence Agent... or Officer as it became on the inside title page.
Not the greatest start then. But wait! Foreword y Richard Whittington-Egan? Credibility restored somewhat. Any book with a foreword by RWE deserves a little more time. And RWE is high in his praise of the research, and encourages the reader.
The book itself starts well. Essentially Slemen feels the 5 canonicals, plus the whitehall mystery were done by JtR. And in style the book for the first 4 and a bit chapters reads like a well researched, quite detailed overview of the crimes. All quite matter of fact. And there is good stuff here on details of each crime. There is no discussion on Emma Smith (aside from a reference very ate on), nor Tabram. Post MJK killings get a cursory examination.
So, 100 pages in, and all sorts of stuff regarding anarchists, fenians and the like starts getting dropped in. Ok, mildly interesting, but not sure where this is going. As the book develops, more weight and emphasis is placed on this as being important, and there are issues worthy of further investigation, such as Deimshutz's links to wentworth dwellings for example. However, this fails to explain the series of murders.
Sadly, from the halfway point, it starts bordering on the insane, inasmuch as the multifarious links are becoming increasingly more tenuous. To be fair, Slemen knows this, as his suspect is added very late on (though being previously mentioned), and the last 2 chapters are effectively nothing other than conjecture. Slemen states "I believe..." and presents no evidence at all.
And the worst bit, although a thorough index, again a book with no sources/notes, and no bibliography.
Bizarre then in the epilogue Slemen refers to Knights book, in considering what if the information/conclusion is wrong. As this book is a strange conspiracy theory in itself. The murders were committed to protect the highest in the land from 3 possible militant groups. How? Not by taking out the leaders of such groups, but 4 potential "couriers", and 2 people who possibly might be a bit more involved (though as it is/was a conspiracy, nothing can be proven and most documents have been destroyed). And the arguement is made that this stands up, purely because of the absence of loads of stuff in records.
There is much that is plausible in this book. Some really interesting conjecture, and a fair amount of well presented and interesting ifno. There are some probably badly drawn links, and a few erroneous leaps of faith. But the book reads like it is at least a well researched and thought out piece of work.
Too bad it is let down by it's lack of sourcing and outrageous conclusion that isn't at all evidenced.
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