Starred Review. Had Charles Dickens been around to turn his talents to fictionalizing the classic Crippen murder case, the result might well have been close to this superb, multifaceted novel from Irish author Boyne (The Thief of Time). The crime, a cause célèbre in 1910, is probably best remembered for its denouement, which featured a race across the Atlantic by Scotland Yard Insp. Walter Dew in pursuit of his suspects aboard a cruise ship. Boyne brings all the characters in this drama to life, skillfully shifting perspectives and using flashbacks and flash-forwards. While his depiction of Hawley Crippen, a quack and self-proclaimed doctor with a disturbing taste for butchery, and his mistress is admittedly speculative, the author's imaginings of their inner lives and motivations are plausible. His version of the events of the night when Crippen's harridan wife met her gruesome death is convincing, despite the lack of historical support. Boyne is to be commended for his ability to alternate between Wodehousian humor and Edwardian noir. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Based on the case of a man who murdered his wife and hacked her body to bits and almost got away with it, Boyne's novel weaves together Hawley Crippen's attempt to flee England for Canada with his much-younger mistress, Ethel LeNeve, on the SS Montrose with the events in Crippen's life that led up to the murder. Disguised as father and son, Crippen and Ethel aren't able to fly under the radar as they'd hoped when they attract the attention of a gossipy matron; her amorous daughter, who is peeved when Ethel doesn't fall for her charms; and the ship's reserved captain. Crippen, a man whose ambitions to become a doctor were squelched by his religious mother, has finally found happiness and love with Evelyn after two failed marriages. But the suspicions of a persistent socialite friend of Crippen's second wife set Scotland Yard on the would-be doctor's tail. Boyne captures the excitement of the hunt for Crippen that ensued as well as offering a surprising twist at the novel's conclusion. Gripping historical fare. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Fascinating book...John Boyne is a wonderful writer...So glad I have discovered him and his books!Published 27 days ago by Florence R. Francioli
Well written, especially when dealing with characters that develop over time; they are not the people they start out to be, so the book and it's ending were not predictable -... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Beth Peyton
I thought this was a very good book. I had had a brief introduction to Hawley Crippen before getting this book, but I didn't really know much about him. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kaye Jordan
Excellent written by Boyne... story kept me guessingthe whole time what was going to happen next... the final was
I enjoyed this fictionalization of the "Dr. Crippen" case very much, although as I have with other John Boyne books, I find the quality of characterizations, settings, and... Read morePublished 7 months ago by zenmezzo
Heart-pounding excitement to the very last page! A must-read for any fan of mystery.Published 12 months ago by Michael Patrick King