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Minette Walters

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Pan

Published : 2006

Copyright : Minette Walters 2006

ISBN-10 : PB 0-330-44031-4
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-330-44031-8

Publisher's Write-Up

A body is found in a chicken run...

Based on the true story of the ‘chicken farm murder’ which took place in Blackness, Crowborough, East Sussex in December, 1924.

Norman Thorne was found guilty of the murder of Elsie Cameron, but even at the time of his execution there were doubts about his guilt.

Still swearing his innocence, Norman Thorne was hanged on 22 April 1925.

Bestselling author Minette Walters brings a thrilling story to life in Chickenfeed.

Chickenfeed (121 pages) is a crime novella by English writer Minette Walters, published as part of the Quick Reads, designed to promote literacy through short, simply written and fast moving stories.

Quick Reads are a series of short books by bestselling authors and celebrities. With no more than 128 pages, they are designed to encourage adults who do not read often, or find reading difficult, to discover the joy of books.

'If this doesn't get the reluctant reader hooked on crime fiction, nothing will.'

Birmingham Post

'With admirable assurance she even discloses the ending on the opening page... Highly enjoyable.'

The Spectator
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ben Macnair (010620) Rating (7/10)

Review by Ben Macnair
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 7/10

Chickenfeed is a very, very short crime novel, based on real events from the mid 1920’s, which the acclaimed Minette Walters has turned into a page turning tale of obsessive love.

Norman Thorne is an innocent, worldly unwise man, who neither smokes, drinks nor has much in his life, except for the church and the scout movement. Into his life comes the plain and unprepossessing Elsie Cameron, but they strike up an unusual friendship, which leads to a relationship, but in their minds it is a different type of relationship.

Norman is working on a farm, and starts to see Bessie, who he marries, but the besotted Elsie does not let him go so easily. After telling him she is pregnant, the book quickly leads to the horrifically true denouement. Elsie is dead, the cause is not known for certain, but Norman is found guilty of her murder, and is hung, even though there are grave doubts about his guilt.

The book is heavily based on what is believed to be a massive miscarriage of justice, for the real cause of Elsie’s death was never fully explained, whether or not it was a purposeful suicide, a cry for Norman’s attention, or the fault of third parties. The lack of any forensic evidence at the time, and a proper medical examination also pointed to a flawed court case.

At only 121 pages, the book packs a lot in, with short chapters, some of the narrative being told in letters, and believable characters. If you are a fan of the work of this fine writer, or are looking for a short, sharp read, Chickenfeed could be the work for you.
Ben Macnair (1st June 2020)

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