A Novel of Murder
By John Boyne
(Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312343583, 352pp.)
Publication Date: March 7, 2006
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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, "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.
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.