Review published on November 2, 2016.
On a recent holiday, I had occasion to acquire a new book or two to pass the relaxing hours. I purchased one in particular that was very interesting in a historical way. The book, Inspector Minahan Makes a Stand by Bridget O’Donnell, tells of the missing girls of London, England in 1885.
The story is a true account of the corruption endemic at the time within the elitist political sphere and the burgeoning police force of the period. Back-handed deals abounded throughout, lies, double standards, drunkenness, the destitution, the poor and needy, and so on.
Inspector Minahan was a tall, strapping chap who rose to the rank of inspector within the police force before he revealed the rampant corruption and the sex trafficking between various countries and brothels. He was demoted as a result of his expose, by no less than the Home Secretary within Gladstone’s government. The reader gets a glimpse of how frustrating life could be back in the 1800s for the many and how unscrupulous those who wielded power could be.
One case in particular, the abduction of Eliza Armstrong, a thirteen-year-old girl from Marylebone, eventually became a revealing expose of the situation rife within the lower classes. The press got hold of the story, the government was shown to be sadly lacking, and something had to be done, and quickly. Surprisingly, another faction or organisation that we all know of today, The Salvation Army, was implicit in some of the abductions, but the lies, cheating and corruption all fostered disbelief among the public and government ministers were repeatedly left cringing when the truth came out.
I enjoyed this book a lot and easily read it over a couple of days. Although it was originally published in 2012, it was republished in 2013, so perhaps it is still available. It is certainly well worth a read for the factual evidence it contains.
Reg Seward 4/3
Inspector Minahan Makes a Stand by Bridget O’Donnell
Picador 9780330544658 pbk Jun 2013
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