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Crippen: Book summary and reviews of Crippen by John Boyne

Crippen

A Novel of Murder

by John Boyne

Crippen by John Boyne X
Crippen by John Boyne
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About this book

Book Summary

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.

An accomplished, intricately plotted novel, 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.

"Starred Review. Boyne is to be commended for his ability to alternate between Wodehousian humor and Edwardian noir."
"His characters are wonderfully memorable and engaging, and this book will satisfy patrons with a thirst for dramatized true-crime stories. Highly recommended for all popular fiction collections." - Library Journal.
"Boyne's light tone diffuses any seriousness and his late and highly improbable twist to the murder scenario transforms the story, already damaged by its loose attention to period style, into something resembling farce. Unconvincing." - Kirkus.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Various political, social, and economic concerns arise as Cleage juggles story lines that creatively culminate in an eventful conclusion." - Library Journal.
"An unconvincing mishmash of violence, spiritual uplift and Hallmark romance." - Kirkus.

This information about Crippen was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Celia Phillips

True Crime Dramatized
John Boyne has taken a true crime event and imaginatively re-created it.

Dr Harley Crippen existed and was married to a shrew, Cora. He was under her thumb constantly. Crippen worked in a homeopathic medicine pharmacy in London. His assistant was Ethel LaNeve. She existed too. They fell in love.

The publisher's book description tells us that Cora Crippen was murdered and her dismembered body found in the cellar at 39 Hilldrop Crescent, Camden.

Crippen and LaNeve have fled to Canada, voyaging on the SS Montrose captained by H. G. Kendall. Kendall suspects two of his passengers to be Crippen and LaNeve (who are cleverly disguised) and informs Scotland Yard. A chase over the sea ensues.

Supporting this story are some interesting characters also travelling on the Montrose.

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Author Information

John Boyne Author Biography

Photo: Rich Gilligan

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of eleven novels for adults, five for younger readers and a collection of short stories. His 2006 novel The Boy In the Striped Pajamas sold 9 million copies worldwide and has been adapted for cinema, theatre, ballet and opera. John has won three Irish Book Awards and many other international literary awards and his novels are published in over 50 languages. He lives in Dublin.

Author Interview
Link to John Boyne's Website

Name Pronunciation
John Boyne: BOYn

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