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The Wicked Boy Audiobook

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer

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Publisher's Summary

Early in the morning of Monday, July 8, 1895, 13-year-old Robert Coombes and his 12-year-old brother, Nattie, set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord's. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbors, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool.

Over the next 10 days, Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents' valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the penny dreadful novels that Robert loved to read.

In The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale has uncovered a fascinating true story of murder and morality. It is not just a meticulous examination of a shocking Victorian case but also a compelling account of its aftermath and of man's capacity to overcome the past.

©2016 Kate Summerscale (P)2016 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (107 )
5 star
 (40)
4 star
 (36)
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1 star
 (2)
Overall
3.9 (100 )
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Story
4.3 (99 )
5 star
 (46)
4 star
 (36)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Natalie N Miami, FL, United States 08-15-16
    Natalie N Miami, FL, United States 08-15-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
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    11
    6
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    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "I kept waiting for it to get good.. it never did."
    Any additional comments?

    The source material seemed so rich and riveting, but the writing and narration was boring and flat that I couldn't really get into it. Even the things that should have been exciting (the murder, the trial, the war...) were described with the same even tone as the descriptions of every day habits. I cannot figure out why people love this book so much?? It honestly was not that interesting.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 03-22-17
    Robin 03-22-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    5
    5
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    0
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    Story
    "Sort of Painful"

    Moderately interesting story, writing can be excruciating at times with too many details that don't add to anything. Awful ending that won't seem to die and then just does. Narration is monotoned and boring.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Belle Knoxville TN 01-08-17
    Lisa Belle Knoxville TN 01-08-17 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    199
    11
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Amazing True Story"

    The research and detail that has gone into this work is stunning. I enjoyed every passage. I really appreciate the author bringing this story to life from a newspaper account. The descriptions of turn of the century life and institutions are wonderful. Thank you!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gina 08-12-16
    Gina 08-12-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    29
    5
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    Story
    "Not enough info on the Wicked Boy to write a book"

    My biggest issue w/this book is the time spent on Penny Dreadfuls. They were told is such great detail that they were obviously used as a filler.

    The info out on Robt. Combes is limited.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rebecca Dallas, TX 04-24-17
    rebecca Dallas, TX 04-24-17 Member Since 2015

    texasjazzlover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    62
    32
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    "The author did outstanding research"

    The narrator was wonderful, giving a flavor of life in England. The author did an outstanding job of research into this time period in history and into the life of Robert Coombes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Celeste 03-15-17
    Celeste 03-15-17

    Colorado Mom

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too Much Filler"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    There just wasn't enough story to fill a book. The author filled half of this book with useless information that did not pertain to the central story line of a boy who murdered his mother. I found myself constantly daydreaming and didn't miss a thing because this book is just full of fluff.


    What does Corrie James bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Not a thing.


    What character would you cut from The Wicked Boy?

    All the people who had absolutely no connection to the crime and were just used to fill up pages.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't waste your credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Barnes Atlanta, GA USA 03-03-17
    Charles Barnes Atlanta, GA USA 03-03-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Academic not engaging"

    This did not translate well to audio for me. Maybe better to read? Repetitive. Was expecting more of a story, less a report.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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