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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,089 Ratings  ·  175 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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4.5 Stars.

Oh Boy.....CRIPPEN is a dam good murder-mystery and another great read off my list from John Boyne. I really should just leave it at that, but I can't! What is the real truth here? And who was this Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen? (I see a work of non-fiction in my near future.)

The story begins with Hawley as a young man leaving home to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor, but with zero dollars from his unsupportive parents, the going gets tough and fabrications result as we meet lots....

This novel is a re-telling of the notorious Crippen murder case. In the factual case Hawley Harvey Crippen (1862-1910) was hanged in 1910 for the murder of his wife Cora Crippen (who was also known as Bella Elmore, Cora Turner and who was originally Kunigunde Mackamotski). His co-accused, Ethel LeNeve (or Neave) was acquitted. Crippen and LeNeve had in fact travelled to Canada in July, 1910 on board the SS Montrose, and they were apprehended due to the wireless device installed on the ship, the ...more
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-2016
I love this author's stuff and this book was so good. The writing, the pacing, the historical feel of this story, all of it. I was not familiar the real Dr. Crippen so this read as a bit of a thriller for me as well.
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This took some time to read but it was quite interesting and had some unexpected turn of events. Not my favorite by this author but a very enjoyable read that I would recommend to lovers of historical fiction based on real life events.
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars - It was great. I loved it.

John Boyne never disappoints, and the only thing better than historical fiction, is historical fiction based on actual events.

Once you have read the book, there is an interesting article with engrossing pictures surrounding what happened here, but I recommend not peeking until after you have read the novel to avoid spoilers!
Favorite Quote: That’s the strangest thing about the wealthiest families of Europe: they’re a
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-2016
In the cellar of a house in Camden in July 1910, Inspector Walter Dew of Scotland Yard finds the dismembered and buried remains of Cora Crippen, music hall singer and wife of Dr Hawley Crippen. Hawley and his mistress Ethel LeNeve have disappeared without a trace. Shortly afterwards, Captain Kendall of the SS Montrose sailing from Antwerp to Canada observes two of his First Class passengers, a Mr John Robinson and his 17-year-old son Edmund, behaving quite unlike the father and son they claim to ...more
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Boyne presents us with a fictionalised account of the famous Dr Crippen case of the early 20th century with many of the characters and situations taken from the facts of the case and others created, successfully, to serve the plot.

The book moves seamlessly from one location and one time frame to another, beginning with Crippen and his mistress Ethel LeNeve in Antwerp ready to board the SS Montrose en route to Canada and a new life. To completely set the scene and present a portrait of the a
B the BookAddict
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hist-fiction

Another brilliant read by John Boyne as he takes on the real life figure, Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen and gives us a story about a man behind the reputation. Highly Recommended 4.5★
Review to follow.
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
It took me so long to get into this book but I love John Boyne and the faith that it was going to be worth reading kept me going. The novel is a somewhat fictionalized account of famous murderer Hawley Crippen who in the early 1900's killed his wife Cora and buried her in the basement. It was a rather famous case because he was on a boat fleeing when he was recognized and he was the first suspect caught with the aid of wireless telegraphy created by Marconi. Crippen was a pretty run of the mill ...more
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was right up my alley- a novel inspired by a real-life crime in Victorian England. As it turned out, the story was familiar to me as I'd read Erik Larson's wonderful non-fiction book "Thunderstruck", about Dr. Crippen, a great companion piece to this book. Interesting to read an alternative take on this murder.
Cleo Bannister
This is now the third book I’ve read by this author and Crippen is a fictionalised version of the case of Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen and the murder of his wife of which he was convicted and hanged in 1910.
It could be said that when you know the ending to a story that it will remove all suspense from the reading (or in my case listening) but this book defies that notion. Yes, I knew that Hawley Crippen’s wife Cora was poisoned then dismembered and her torso found under the floor of the cellar of 39
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
Watching an episode of Mysteries at the Museum that deals with this story. Needless to say, this book has jumped to the top of my TBR list :)
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-2018
Hallo ihr Lieben :)

Es ist Book.Review Time - Oder : Es ist Zeit für eine Rezension :) ;) Aber erst einmal wünsche ich euch allen einen wunderschönen Feiertag heute und allen Papas da draußen einen tollen Vatertag <3

Ich habe das Buch "Der freundliche Mr. Crippen" von John Boyne beendet und es bekommt von mir 4 1/2 von 5 Sternen :) Mal wieder hat John Boyne gezeigt, wie großartig er einfach schreiben kann und natürlich sollt ihr jetzt auch wissen, worum es geht (Ohne Spoiler versteht sich ;) )

Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cora Crippen was murdered by her husband, Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen, in 1910 London. This novel is a fictionalized account of the murder and the subsequent manhunt for him. I enjoyed this book which was filled with quirky characters and unexpected twists. Just when you think you have it figured out, Boyne skillfully leads you in another direction. Much more than a love-murder-triangle story, Crippen was an enjoyable read penned by a wonderful storyteller.
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Posted too in

This is one book from the historical fiction genre that I like. The story is told from the vantage point of dr.Crippen. About his childhood, how he struggle to become a doctor (although it’s not real), his relationship with the women in his life. There is a sad aura surrounding the character that makes you think that the murder is justifiable. His wife is a bully and he’s done everything he could to satisfy her and still it’s not enough.

All h
Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-away
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
Neilie J
Dec 15, 2015 rated it liked it
The language of this book isn't the most poetic or gripping, but it does a serviceable job of filling in the gaps of a famous murder trial. Oddly though, it builds Crippen up to be some kind of monster (as a child) and then seems to do a 180 and paint him (during adulthood) as an innocent victim. That makes it somewhat hard to know what to think about him. Stranger though, is the way nearly every woman in the story is characterized as so horrible: Crippen's hysterical over-religious mother; his ...more
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a great fictional account of a gruesome murder that took place in England in 1910. I have seen a documentary on this subject so it was interesting to see the fact mixed with the fiction. The author did an excellent job turning this into a great mystery filled with suspense, humor, and history. The author also jumps back to before the crime and after the crime (during the chase) and this is a great way to keep the story moving. There is actual dialogue interspersed with Boyne's fiction. T ...more
Gayle Noble
I've noticed that the last 5 books I have read have all been rated around 4 stars which is unusual for me. I must be choosing better reading material and this is no exception. Very readable and entertaining, it is based on the infamous case of Dr Crippen and uses some of the real-life people involved as characters.

Initially I did find it a little hard to believe that the policeman would be taken in so easily but then, as the book makes plain, the view was that many domestic cases were put down
Mike Crippen
Surprised to see so many positive reviews for this. I found the prose clumsy and obvious a lot of the time, and every single character was one dimensional and prone to illogical and overblown reactions.

More disturbingly, however, is the author's constantly vile descriptions of all his female characters. The utter lack of redeeming traits in any of the novel's women made me feel unsettled on more than a few occasions.

Aside from this, it rattles along at a fair old pace and provides some basic ent
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
TRUE RATING: 3.5 stars but I rounded up because I was fence-y

I really enjoyed this take on the true crime story of Hawley Crippen, who depending on your source, may or may not have murdered his wife Cora. The historical basics of the story more or less line up with the fascinating true life events but they propose and entirely different conclusion as to what happened. More than this, I will not say for fear of spoiling it for anyone but this was a pretty compelling read.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Some interesting twists and turns and fairly entertaining read - it's a fascinating story on its own right - although sort of let down by a couple of aspects. I found the dialogue surprisingly cliched and rather clumsy. Also I felt that it is longer than it needed to be.
Lyn Duclos
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review coming soon
Charlie Collier
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Knowing this was based on a true story made it instantly appealing. Chosen as our last book club book it is probably not one I would have chosen and I would have missed out! The telling of the story using flashbacks was done well as it was easy to transition. I recommend this book. :)
Feb 14, 2014 marked it as wish-list
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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 won the Curtis Brown prize. In 2015, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by UEA.

John Boyne is the author of ten novels for adults and five for young readers, as well as a collection of short stories.

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