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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  569 ratings  ·  87 reviews
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 D
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 23rd 2007 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2004)
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Blurb from Goodreads

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 ful
Well, where to start? How about with just one word: WOW! Crippen is quite one of the most gripping crime faction novels I’ve ever read. That’s the short version.

You want the long version? OK, here goes…

This fictionalised account of a real and infamous crime that gripped the English-speaking world is nothing short of brilliant. The characters are sympathetically drawn, yes, even that of Dr Hawley Crippen himself. Boyne has taken one of Britain’s most notorious and mysterious killers and made him
Crippen is a historical fiction novel that recounts the life of Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen and the infamous North London Cellar Murder of 1910. Dr. Crippen allegedly killed his wife, music-hall singer Cora Crippen (Bella Elmore), dissected her body, and buried her under the floor of the cellar of their home at 39 Hilldrop Crescent.

While I love historical fiction, murder mysteries and crime novels are not my thing. So, I was skeptical about how much I would enjoy this book. And even though it sca
Terry Tyler
I got this book out of the library to read again, when I was temporarily without a Kindle... I thoroughly enjoyed it once more.

I've read a few reviews that question certain historical inaccuracies; I don't know if these are correct or not, but this book is such a cracking tale and so well-written than I don't think I would have minded even if I did know. One of the things I like so much about Mr Boyne's writing is the detail he gives about the secondary characters. I particularly loved the touch

What a good mystery! This is the 2nd book that I've read by this author. It was really hard for me to put this book down, this book held my interest from the beginning to the end.

Crippen is about a very unhappy doctor who is being abused by his wife and decides to make a change. The author weaves in and out of the past and present life of the doctor, so that you can understand how he got to the point of dissatisfaction with his wife.

The plot and storyline were good. The characters were all very
Apr 19, 2014 Meg rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I didn't realize that this was based on an actual crime. In 1910, Dr. Crippen, a doctor living in London, chopped his wife up and buried her under his basement floor. He and his lover then escaped on The Montrose, a ship bound for Canada. The book chronicles the story from a variety of viewpoints: Crippen, his wife, his lover, the police inspector who chases them across the ocean and the friends of the wife who alter the inspector to the crime.

I enjoyed the writing style, I'm just not sure that
I do believe that although I thoroughly enjoyed this book - the story - the style - the humour - I didn't realize til afterwards that it is based on a true story of a famous incident and trial. I believe I might have even enjoyed it more. So I hope this isn't a spoiler, rather a fill in on what I would have preferred to know prior to reading. I loved Boyne's Boy in the Striped Pyjamas so did some research and believe this is one of his earliest books. I will continue to treat myself to more of h ...more
David R Anderson
I enjoyed Crippen for the accomplished way that John Boyne tells this story. The case of Hawley Harvey Crippen is famous and has been covered in much detail both in criminal studies and in other novels. For the most part Boyne sticks to the facts, as they are known, with the exception of some minor characters.

Initially I thought I may give up on this book due to a long section given over to an annoying character-scene and was left wondering, at the end of the book, why author Boyne began with th
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I'm a great fan of John Boyne's books. I started of course with The boy in the striped pyjamas, but have since read almost all his books. There are very few authors whose books I look forward to as much as I do with his.

This book is set in 1910 (and the years before that), and is as the title suggested 'A novel of murder', Indeed one knows for sure what murder will be committed, but the events leading up to it and resulti
Toni Osborne
This is a slightly gothic and a very captivating historical fiction based on real-life events that happened over 100 years ago. It brings a fresh perspective while it recounts the life of the rather infamous and charismatic murderer Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen.

When I started the book I had no idea who Crippen was so my mind was not tainted by the actual facts, I was then able to enjoy this superb mystery in which the author has put his own spin on a heinous crime that took place in Camden, England
First of all a warning. If you haven't read the book already, don't read the cover! This may be a strange way to start a blog about a book but I really hate it when there is a spoiler on the cover. And I do think that a publisher as well as an author never should allow that to happen. Even if the book is based on a true story and I could've known what had happened. I simply didn't. You shouldn't put something on the cover that actually happens in the book on page 334. And then end the descriptio ...more
Beth Kemp
This book is fascinating and informative, while also creating something new out of the known; highly recommended for crime readers. I'm not a 'true crime' reader, but I do enjoy a good whodunnit or a strong crime thriller and this was right up my street. Although I knew some of the pertinent facts in this case, the strength of Boyne's writing still pulled me in and made me need to know what was coming next.

The novel's narrative is divided, with chapters alternating between the 'now' of 1910, aft
Nancy Oakes
Dr. Hawley Crippen murdered his wife Belle in 1910; he and his mistress escaped England for Canada via ocean liner hoping to start a new life. Boyne uses factual info on the case to create a very fine novel which recalls Hawley's crime and the chase to catch him before he can disappear into Canada.

Boyne's characterizations are quite excellent. Crippen comes across as a "yes dear" milksop kind of guy with an added edge of bizareness that lays buried; his wife, Cora is the worst kind of fishwife
3.5 stars.

When I began this book, I knew nothing of the Crippen murder case other than a line or two from the television show Coupling that told me this: he killed his wife and was hanged for her murder.

When I finished the book, I was unsure what pieces were fact, which were informed fiction, and which were wild theory. Novels based around true crimes are going to have that problem though, especially if read by someone unfamiliar with the original crime. Even so, it's a frustrating feeling to no
July 1910, the grisly remains of Cora Crippen, music hall singer and wife of Dr Hawley Crippen are discovered in the cellar of 39 Hilldrop Cresent Camden. But the doctor and his mistress, Ethel Le Neve have vanished., much to the frustration of Scotland Yard and the outrage of a horrified London.

Across the channel in Antwerp, the SS Montrose sets sail on it's two week voyage to Canada. Amongst it's passengers are the overbearing Antonia Drake and her daughter Victoria, who is hell-bent
Jo Barton

I was delighted to be given this book as my fourth read in the Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge 2011.
The story opens in July 1910 with passengers boarding the SS Montrose in Antwerp bound for Canada. Amongst the passengers are a Mr John Robinson and his seventeen year old son Edmund, who together with a disparate group of fellow travellers are to be confined on board ship for the duration of the journey. This fictional account of the true story of the notorious Doctor Crippen gets off to
Andrew Garvey
I discovered this book while doing some research for a pair of articles I wrote about Dr Crippen and I really wish I'd stumbled on it some other way and read it without knowing much about the case because stunningly little of Boyne's version of the story has anything to do with what really happened. Things are so massively and heavily (and heavy-handedly) fictionalised that I do wonder why he didn't just write a historical novel about a murderer he'd come up with himself.

There are some very enjo
Crippen is of course based on the true story of Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen, the man who, in 1910, murdered his wife and chopped her into little bits, before attempting a daring escape on a transatlantic crossing. The story was a news sensation at the time, and Crippen is remembered as the first criminal to have been caught with the aid of wireless communication. John Boyne follows true events for most of the story, but he does use his own interpretation towards the end, so this should not be taken ...more
Apr 26, 2008 Nomanisan rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Oh, my lord, that's several hours of my life I'll never get back.
Boyne is a published author with several (4 +-) books published and a couple of nominations for awards (none won, I hasten to say), so obviously there ARE people out there who appreciate his writing. I'm NOT a published author, and therefore may have little standing to comment on the quality of this book (though given that I got it from a Dollar Tree for--obviously--$1, I'm betting that there are others out there who DON'T appreci
Received from and reviewed for Transworld Books

This is the fictionalised story of Dr. Hawley Crippen who, in 1910 killed his wife, dissected her body and hid the parts under the floor in his cellar.
The book starts in July 1910 with passengers boarding the SS Montrose before she sets of for her passage from Antwerp to Canada. Two of the people boarding are Mr. John Robinson and his seventeen year old son Edmund who soon arouse suspicions in the cantankerous captain of the Montrose.
Also on board
Another thoroughly enjoyable book by John Boyne. Ostensibly a mystery set in the 1910's, it's also an interesting look at the class system, gender roles, and the nature of love. But what really set him apart as a novelist is that he not only whites about a particular time period, it's that it feels he's writing FROM that period. His style, his pacing, his use of words makes the reader feel as if he were actually reading a work written the 1910's.
As a crime novel, this doesn't rate well for me even though it is based on a true story. I'm amazed that after reading other books by Boyne, he would write such a long and tedious version of the events.
Crippen is not high on my list of recommendations, however to end on a positive note, I do recommend you read Boyne's 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas', a tremendous story that really shows the skill of this author.
Mit diesem Roman ist mir Boyne noch mehr ans Herz gewachsen. Er hat eine tolle Geschichte zusammengesponnen. Als ich dann noch erfuhr, dass es Crippen tatsächlich gab, war es für mich noch umso spannender. Ich hatte mir ein paar Fotos angesehen, dann aber meine Recherchen zurückgestellt. Zum Glück: So hatte ich noch einige Spannungsmomente :smile:
Man wird von einer Mordphantasie in die nächste getrieben und weiß irgendwann überhaupt nicht mehr, wer was getan haben könnte.

Die Charaktere sind alle
Xavier University Library
This book chronicles the real life of Hawley Harvey Crippen, a homeopathist born in Michigan during the late 1880s and accused of murdering his second wife in England during the early 1900s. He attempts to run away to Canada with a third wife hopeful on board a transatlantic steamship, but he is caught with the use of wireless communication.
Markus Gladbach
Gutes Buch, interessante Story, die manchmal ein wenig spannender hätte sein können. Dennoch habe ich das Buch in zwei Tagen verschlungen, das spricht für sich. Letztlich ist das Interessanteste nicht der Fall, sondern die geschwätzige Gesellschaft und wie sie mit den Personen, dem Fall und der Jagd interagiert. Das ist heute auch nicht anders.
Aug 31, 2008 Rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans
Recommended to Rebecca by: Mary
I had never heard of Hawley Harvey Crippen before reading this book- he was a Doctor that was accused of killing his wife and then burying her body beneath the floorboards of their home. He then left England for Canada- along with his new girlfriend. He isn't as well known as other serial killers because, well, he only killed one woman.
Knowing nothing about this case, I found the book to be incredibly interesting. The only real issue I had with the book was that there wasn't a single likable fe
John Boyne is a master at the twist ending, which I adore. And his twists are not just to surprise and amuse - they are to make a point, which makes them even more interesting.

I really enjoyed Crippen. It was a book designed to make you think about things differently. It wasn't as powerful as his "Boy in Striped Pajamas" but it was thought-provoking, particularly about gender roles, which get quite turned around. And it was a good tale. But I think that the writing was a wee bit off for me - it
Pam Foster
An interesting take on the Hawley Harvey Crippen murder case. Having read other books about this event (Thunderstruck by Erik Larson), this was a written with a different viewpoint. Good character development, a really enjoyable read.
Colin Andrews
A excellent blend of fact and fiction, and like all good murder mysteries some intriguing twists in the tale. The narrative style holds one's attention so well that I read most of the book in one session.
Can't believe I had never heard of this real-life story on which the book is based. Both the book and the actual story are fascinating.
Where is the next John Boyne book?
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John Boyne (born 30 April 1971 in Dublin) is an Irish novelist.

He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where he was awarded the Curtis Brown prize. But it was during his time at Trinity that he began to get published. To pay his way at that stage of his career, he worked at Waterstone's, typing up his drafts by night.

John Boyne is
More about John Boyne...
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas The Absolutist This House is Haunted The House of Special Purpose The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket

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