The Suspicions of Mr Whicher
Published: Tue 30 Apr 2013
The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: The Murder in Angel Lane
“When it’s murder, you want, more than anything else, to bring some kind of peace to those left bereaved by it. There can be no peace without the truth…” Inspector Jonathan ‘Jack’ Whicher
Paddy Considine returns as the pioneering 19th century detective Jonathan “Jack” Whicher in The Suspicions of Mr Whicher II: The Murder in Angel Lane.
The Suspicions of Mr Whicher is based on the life and times of the real-life detective who worked in the newly established Detective Branch of the Metropolitan Police during the 19th Century, and this story launches him on his career as one of the first “private inquiry agents”.
In The Murder in Angel Lane, Jack Whicher is no longer an Inspector, he has left the Metropolitan Police under a cloud and his days as a detective are behind him. But when he saves a respectable country lady from a violent robbery in a dangerous quarter of London, he learns that this woman, Susan Spencer (Olivia Colman) , is desperately hunting for her vulnerable young niece, Mary. Mary has come up to London in search of a young man, Stephen Gann (William Postlehwaite), who has made her pregnant.
Susan commissions Jack Whicher as a “private inquiry agent” to find her niece and the young man and Whicher is drawn irresistibly into a disturbing and puzzling murder case, which brings him up against wealthy and powerful figures and throws him into conflict with his former colleagues in the Metropolitan police. The investigation leads to a private lunatic asylum where Whicher himself must confront the darkness of his own demons.
The story draws deeply on historical research into the detective career of Jack Whicher, the medical, legal and policing practices of the day and both the criminal and the apparently respectable sides of Victorian London.