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Dancing For The Hangman

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3.32  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  14 reviews
It is 1910 and Dr Hawley Crippen has been convicted of the murder of his wife Cora. In his cell at Pentonville Prison, Crippen faces the prospect of the gallows. Laying bare his innermost feelings, he looks back at his austere childhood in Coldwater, Michigan, his tempestuous marriage and life on the run with his lover Ethel Le Neve. Yet as he revisits his life, Crippen en ...more
Paperback, 327 pages
Published December 1st 2008 by Flambard
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Mary Lou
May 24, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a bookgroup read for me.
I knew before I read this novel of Dr Crippen- notorious mostly perhaps for the publicity surrounding his pursuit and eventual capture aboard ship about to dock in Canada, but I did nt know about the controversy which surrounds his crime and his trial.
This book however is spent mostly developing pretty unpleasant characters for Crippen and his wife Cora and the dreadful relationship they had. Crippen is portrayed as a weak, self centred man, with a superiority com
...more
Joseph McCann
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Reading this fictionalized account of the life of Dr Crippen including the events around his wife's death I was reminded of Evan Hunter(Ed McBain)'s novelisation of the Lizzie Borden case. Both suffer from the same problem that the ending in both cases is known and while initially the accounts of Crippen's life are well written and engaging by the time it comes to the remains in the cellar being discovered and Crippen and Ethel de Neve are forced to flee it has all become too much an I admit I s ...more
Cleopatra  Pullen
Dancing for the Hangman is a fictionalised account of Hawley Harvey Crippen’s life leading up to 23 November 1910 when he was hanged by John Ellis at Pentonville Prison in London for the murder of his wife Cora.

Martin Edwards has written a book that seeks to explain the psychology and events that led to this seemingly mild-mannered man who committed (if that is indeed the case) the crime and then who fled from England to Brussels with his secretary Ethel Le Neve. There they boarded a ship to Can
...more
Les Wilson
Oct 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Telling the story of Crippen, who was found guilty of a crime he did to commit.

Modern CSI methods have been used to prove Dr Hawley Crippen – who gained a reputation as one of the most notorious murderers in British history - did not kill his wife. The breakthrough comes more than 100 years after he was hanged for allegedly poisoning Cora.

Now scientists say DNA tests show the remains found at the couple’s home were not hers.

Tests – similar to those used on the Channel 5 drama CSI – compared DN
...more
Deborah Cater
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a very well researched book that gives a fictionalised autobiographical account, interspersed with extracts from actual records of the events, of Crippen's life leading up to the murder or disappearance of his wife Cora, aka Belle Elmore.

A certain amount of sympathy is elicited for Crippen, and questions whether he truly did murder his wife, a crime for which he was hanged.

The book moves along at a good pace and the characters are very well drawn with both Cora and Crippen depicted as dr
...more
Katie Grainger
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Dancing for the Hangman follows the story of one of Britain's most notorious murders, Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen. In 1910 Crippen was accused of the murder of his wife after her disappearance. This novel seeks to re create the case sticking closely to the facts but also seeking to put a new spin on the case.

The narrative of the book is interspersed with different time periods flipping between Crippen in his cell awaiting his fate and the past, recounting the life with his wife Cora who he is accus
...more
Martine Bailey
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A well written exploration of the life and crimes of Dr Crippen. Listening on audio, I found the opening a little confusing, but once I realised there would be time jumps I found it very effective. In particular Crippen's wife Cora was superbly written - I really found myself detesting her and her tawdry music hall ambitions. Also, the world of the patent medicine business was fascinating, as it became obvious that Crippen operated as a kind of scammer in early homeopathy.
I am going to a Victori
...more
Pat Stearman
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it
A better reading group book although it took some time to get into it. (We all felt the same) Made Crippen annoying rather than seductive as he was portrayed, but think he was just weak. Cora was annoying too but we can maybe blame her problems on early abuse. Interesting anyway - don't know if the author has captured the true story or not but as I didn't really know anything about Crippen apart from him being the first criminal to be captured by radio!
Does show that the press were just as bad
...more
Ant Koplowitz
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
A gripping and very detailed re-telling of the Crippen cause célèbre. Martin Edwards has clearly done his research and knows the case inside out, and it reads like a biographical account, as opposed to a fictionalised one. Edwards' denounmont fits with more recent forensic evidence that questions the long-held views of Crippen's guilt.

© Koplowitz 2011

...more
Rachel
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I didn't know much about Crippen before reading this - it's a convincing story, if a bit grim in places. ...more
Diane
Jul 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Mildly intriguing murder mystery which suffers from the flashbacks in which it is told (which make it very hard to follow) and the fact that the main character isn't very compelling. ...more
Puzzle Doctor
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An evocative re-telling of the infamous Dr Crippen, re-examining the evidence and weaving a compelling narrative. Full review at classicmystery.wordpress.com
Erin
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love true stories. Made me do more research about Crippen! I am from MI so the fact that he was too first caught my eye. Very interesting story. Not the truth, but one possible scenario.
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Martin Edwards’ latest novel, Gallows Court, was published in September. He is consultant to the British Library’s Crime Classics series, and has written sixteen contemporary whodunits, including The Coffin Trail, which was shortlisted for the Theakston’s Prize for best crime novel of the year. His genre study The Golden Age of Murder won the Edgar, Agatha, H.R.F. Keating and Macavity awards, whil ...more

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