'Damn him!' he swore. 'There is no more harm in shooting him than a mad dog!' The brutal murder of the Reverend George Parker in the rural village of Oddingley on Midsummer's Day in 1806 - shot and beaten to death, his body set on fire and left smouldering in his own glebe field - gripped everyone from the Home Secretary in London to newspapermen across the country. It was a strange and stubborn case. The investigation lasted twenty-four years and involved inquests, judges and coroners, each more determined than the last to solve Oddingley's most gruesome crime - or crimes, as it turned out. "Damn His Blood" is a fascinating glimpse into English rural life at the beginning of the nineteenth century, so often epitomised by the civilised drawing rooms of Jane Austen or the rural idylls of Constable. England was exhausted and nervous: dogged by Pitt's war taxes, mounting inflation and the lingering threat of a French invasion, violence was rife, particularly in rural communities where outsiders were regarded with deep suspicion. With a cast of characters straight out of Hardy, "Damn His Blood" is a nail-biting true story of brutality, greed and ruthlessness which brings an elusive society vividly back to life.
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Peter Moore is a writer and freelance journalist. Born in Staffordshire in 1983, he studied history and sociology at Durham University and then spent six years working in the media in Madrid and London, where he was head of publishing at an award-winning digital agency. He now teaches creative writing at City University in London. Damn His Blood is his first book.Review:
"A gripping historical drama, beautifully told, and underpinned by meticulous research. The best historical crime books root a compelling narrative firmly in the context of their era, and Peter Moore has achieved this in great style" -- Jane Robins, author of 'The Magnificent Spilsbury' and 'The Case of the Brides in the Bath' "The book is vivid, intense and often frightening. Moore's re-examination...has richness vibrancy and heft. His deferral of the solution and careful, almost novelistic release of information suggest the skilled restraint of a far more experienced writer. There is much in this brilliant, startling debut that will linger long in the memory, images that may even, for the unwary reader, make sleep temporarily difficult" -- Jonathan Barnes Times Literary Supplement "Moore tempers his considerable research with passages of beautifully evocative prose that bring a bygone era and a small English village vividly to life" Financial Times "A fascinating piece of criminal social history... Written in the vein of Kate Summerscale's The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher, Moore's story is in many ways more compelling. The period he illuminates is murkier, and its protagonists more complex...a lively, atmospheric and gripping recreation of a terrible pact and its shocking consequences" Herald "Peter Moore has scrupulously examined every account of both murders... A detailed and convincing narrative that traces the crimes from their origins in arguments between parishioners and their vicar over dues of corn and sheep, to the grimly Dickensian menace of Worcester jail and the looming gallows" -- Michael Prodger Mail on Sunday
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Book Description Chatto & Windus, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110701186445