Reopening the Case
The prologue introduces the reader to the early phases of the case by relating the responses of senior government lawyers to what they suspected was a miscarriage of justice. Rose Gooding had twice been convicted of libelling her neighbour Edith Swan and was serving a sentence of a year’s imprisonment. When new evidence was discovered by the West Sussex police, it was referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Archibald Bodkin, and the Home Office’s lawyers, led by Sir Ernley Blackwell. They quickly came to believe that Gooding had been wrongly convicted, and enlisted George Nicholls of the Metropolitan Police to investigate under the ‘Police Aid’ scheme, whereby the Metropolitan Police lent detectives to provincial forces (about a third of which had no investigative units of their own).
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