Thursday 15 September 2011

Review - Crippen by John Boyne (Transworld Book Group)

CrippenCrippen by John Boyne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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 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

My Review

This is my 4th book from the Transworld Book Group.

The story does a bit of jumping. From present day and the escapees, to the past when Dr Crippen was just growing up and then back and forward to meeting his wife and his live with her and the people in their lives and his career, however it is really easy to follow.

We get a background with his upbringing and his parents, his struggle to get to be a doctor and all the hardships he has to endure. I felt torn between dislike and sorrow for Dr Crippen as he can't seem to catch a break but he isn't a very likeable person.

Despite the story being quite low on action (a lot of it is showing what his life is like, how it is like that and all the people he comes across in his life and the realtionships) it is a fantastic read and I couldn't put it down.

As the end gets closer and you think you have everything figured out there is a few big twists in it. It was a pretty good read and as I loved the boy in striped pyjamas I have tracked down more of this author as I really like the style of writing and enjoyed both stories so it's a 4/5 for me.

View all my reviews


  1. I saw this in a review catalog or something last week and wondered if it would be any good. I watched a programme about him not long ago and thought this might be worth reading. Thanks for reminding me about it Lainy :D

  2. If you send me your details I will post it on to you :D

  3. I have had this TBR for ages but haven't got round to it - so many books etc etc..

  4. Thanks, you're too kind :D Would you like to swap for it though? Is there anything on my readitswapit list that you like the look of? There's not much on there just now so maybe you've got one on your wishlist you'd like that I could get for you?

  5. I nearly picked this one, but there were so many to choose from on the list!

    I'm glad you enjoyed it, I'll have to look out for it :)

  6. I also nearly picked this one on the challenge, changed my mind at last minute. I do like his books, I would also recommend both 'Mutiny on the Bounty' and 'The Absolutist' by him. Nice to read your review. :)


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