by John Boyne
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Crippen by John Boyne

July 1910: A gruesome discovery has been made at 39 Hilldrop Crescent, Camden.

Chief Inspector Walter Dew of Scotland Yard did not expect the house to be empty. Nor did he expect to find a body in the cellar. Buried under the flagstones are the remains of Cora Crippen, former music-hall singer and wife of Dr. Hawley Crippen. No one would have thought the quiet, unassuming Dr. Crippen capable of murder, yet the doctor and his mistress have disappeared from London, and now a full-scale hunt for them has begun.

Across the Channel in Antwerp, the S.S. Montrose has just set off on its two-week voyage to North America. Slipping in among the first-class passengers is a Mr. John Robinson, accompanied by his teenage son, Edmund. The pair may be hoping for a quiet, private voyage, but in the close confines of a luxury ocean liner, anonymity is rare. And with others aboard looking for romance, or violence, or escape from their past in Europe, it will take more than just luck for the Robinsons to survive the voyage unnoticed.

An accomplished, intricately plotted novel, John Boyne's Crippen brilliantly reimagines the amazing escape attempt of one of history's most notorious killers and marks the outstanding American debut of one of Ireland's best young novelists.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312343590
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 01/23/2007
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

John Boyne was born in Dublin, Ireland. He studied English literature at Trinity College, Dublin, and was a student in creative writing at the University of East Anglia, where he was awarded the Curtis Brown Prize. He began publishing short stories in his early twenties and was shortlisted for a Hennessy Literary Award. He is also the author of the children's novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which has been shortlisted for the Ottakar's Children's Book Prize. He has taught creative writing at the Irish Writer's Centre and at the University of East Anglia, where he was awarded the Writing Fellowship for 2005; in the same year, Ireland's Sunday Business Post named him one of the forty people under forty in Ireland "likely to be the movers and shakers who will define the country's culture, politics, style and economics in 2005 and beyond." Crippen was nominated for the Sunday Independent Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award. Boyne's work has been translated into fourteen languages. He lives with his partner in Dublin.

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Crippen: A Novel of Murder 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walter Dew discovers a chilling scene in the basement of a man's home; he finds the crime scene of Bella Crippen. She was a music hall singer using her maiden name Elmore. The prime suspect in the case was her husband, Dr. Howley Crippen but is nowhere to be found along with his mistress Ethel Le Neve. With the two of them gone a manhunt for the two of them begin. The chase leads them to the SS Montrose where Crippen and LeNeve sneak on board with the alias' of Mr. Robinson and Edmund. Dr. Crippen is not actually a doctor but just aspires to be one. Since he was a boy, his dream job was to be a doctor but his mother didn't believe in those jobs. When it comes to women, Crippen isn't so lucky. His first wife was accidentally killed so he travels to New York and meets Cora Turner. Crippen takes her to London so she can become a famous star but she turns out to be heartless and manipulative woman. Cora Turner, another main character is Crippen's second wife. She is cranky, evil, and violent. She wants to be a music hall star but that doesn't work out so she takes her anger out on Dr. Crippen, her husband. Walter Dew is a third important character to this murder novel. He is the investigator of the Crippen murder case. He is a very driven and intelligent investigator. He tracks Hawley Crippen all throughout London and the U.S to find him. "Perhaps, she thought, reflecting on it, it had merely been an obsession, a romance that she could enjoy and get carried away by. And if she had felt that way about Hawley Crippen, then surely again she could feel it towards another?" This is the most important passage in the book because it describes the love that Ethel had for Hawley, and how Hawley loved her. Crippen had to let her go because of all of his troubles and told her that she had her whole life ahead of her and to go love another man. It finally showed a breakthrough for Hawley towards women and his own life. I agree with everything about this book, it is extremely well written and has no flaws. The author maintains that thrilling suspense while jumping scenes from land to sea. The myriad stories in the novel were also expertly intertwined which added to the superiority of the book. The books pace and themes are a direct relation to the author's style because it keeps the intensity up while giving crucial character or plot details, and he knows how to slow the pace of the book down when necessary. The book is superbly written and I recommend it to people who like thriller books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1910 Camden, England, Scotland Yard Detective Walter Dew feels somewhat ill as he looks over the crime scene in the cellar of a family house. The victim is Bella Crippen, a former music hall singer under her maiden name Elmore before she married Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen. The obvious prime suspect is the husband, but he is nowhere in sight. A witness recognized jewelry that Crippen¿s female companion, who was not his wife, wore that belonged to Bella. The sleuth assumes Crippen is on the lam though possibly also dead if by some remote chance he is not the killer. At the same time that Walter heads the homicide investigation, in Antwerp, Belgium, Mr. John Robinson and his teenage son Edmund board the passenger ship SS Montrose to traverse the three thousand plus miles of the Atlantic to Quebec, Canada. In fact John is actually Hawley and Edmund is his lover Ethel LeNeve. Neither realize as they try to limit contact with the crew and other passengers that Dew continues to follow their trail. --- CRIPPEN is an intriguing historical fictionalized account of a real sensationalized at the time love-murder triangle. The tale moves back and forth between the present (circa 1910) and the late nineteenth century childhood of the title character. Though the insight into the pre-homicide Hawley is fascinating, that subplot also slows down an interesting Scotland Yard investigation. Still fans will gain insight into late Victorian and Edwardian England as well as what motivated Crippen to kill his wife and run off with his lover in an apparent crime of passion. Readers will appreciate this deep Edwardian tale, but struggle between the two appealing segues that take away from each other. --- Harriet Klausner