This sequel to Middlemarch is also in a limited sense a sequel to Dickens’ Bleak House
. While there is no need to have read either novel in order to enjoy The Ladislaw Case
, acquaintance with George Eliot’s characters and Dickens’ Inspector Bucket enhances the reader’s pleasure in following the twists and turns of the plot and the tribulations of the characters.
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Here is a chapter from the book: [Ladislaw Chapter 23.pdf
"Thormählen writes very well, moves the plot along, and keeps the tension at just the right pitch throughout. She does a particularly good job extrapolating Eliot's characters, convincingly making Ladislaw much less attractive than he is in Eliot's novel and revealing the implications of Rosamond's chilling egotism ... Thormählen ... has created an entertaining re-vision of a major Victorian novel [which] successfully extrapolates elements in [Middlemarch] that both illuminate and criticize [it]." George P. Landow, Editor-in-Chief, The Victorian Web.
'One of the pleasures of reading Imke Thormählen's murder mystery ... is that it works on two levels: even as it unravels the question of who committed the murder, the novel provides a thought-provoking sequel to George Eliot's Middlemarch. /---/ [It contains] ... strong narrative suspense, psychological realism, and a credible Victorian setting ... [I]maginatively and insightfully faithful to George Eliot's vision ... this novel ... reveals some of the hitherto untapped potential that lies latent in ... Eliot's novel and is, at the same time, a very good read indeed.'
Micael M. Clarke, George Eliot -- George Henry Lewes Studies, Nos. 64-65
'The characterization of the main protagonists in the story is generally consistent with that created by George Eliot ... Characters impress us or repel us by what they say. There is no difficulty here in recognizing their voices: the clear sombre voice of the disappointed Dr Lydgate; the excessively polite voice of Rosamond, so quick to criticize her husband and add to his sense of failure in his professional and social life; the irritable and yet self-critical voice of the young politician Ladislaw; the certain tones of Lady Chettam secure in her social position, correcting her sister "Dodo" and yet always caring for her ... If the reader has also devoured Middlemarch, he or she will be eager to meet old friends, to be reminded of some of the darker strands of that story, and ultimately, tense with expectations, excited to discover the murderer. We are kept guessing until very near the end and for most readers the revelation will be a real surprise.'
Ruth and Michael Harris, The George Eliot Review 44 (2013), 88-89