Interwar Liverpool was a hard place to live. Though the chronic living conditions were being tackled through widespread slum clearance, for some the pressures of poverty, unemployment, post-war trauma and uncertainty took their toll. Many of the cases in this collection of murders in 1920s Merseyside show all too clearly how bleak life could be, how little hope those involved had. But while we can feel pity for some of the people we meet in these accounts, murder is murder and most paid the ultimate penalty. The bad, sad and mad all appear in this book, which is both a fascinating read and a valuable piece of social history, with additional material on subjects such as poisoning, suicide, shellshock and firearms.