Dancing for the Hangman Paperback – 25 Nov 2008
|New from||Used from|
Audio Cassette, Audiobook, Unabridged
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Top Customer Reviews
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 Canada where they could begin a new life. Unluckily for Crippen the ship’s captain Henry Kendall became suspicious of the man and his son (Ethel was disguised as a boy), he was well aware that the police were hunting the pair as the newspapers were full of the story. Using the latest wireless telegraph technology, word was sent that British authorities that the cellar murderer was on board the Montrose and there was only ever going to be one ending to this story, wasn’t there?
So convincing is this tale that I will undoubtedly repeat the fictionalised parts as fact for years to come as it was impossible to tell where the truth ended, and where Martin Edwards has used conjecture in this ‘true confession’ We are taken back to Crippen’s life as a young man, his first marriage to Charlotte and her untimely death which led to him leaving his two-year-old son Otto in the care of his parents while he travelled to New York to practice as a homeopathic doctor.
We travel backwards and forward with Crippen as he meets and falls deeply and passionately in love with Cora and at first all appears well. Crippen supports his wife in her wish to tread the boards and despite set-backs in his professional life this only illustrates his resourceful nature.Read more ›
The story consists of Crippen's version of events written when he was awaiting the outcome of his appeal and before his subsequent hanging. Interspersed with this fascinating story are transcriptions of newspaper cuttings, extracts from evidence given at his trial and conversations he may have had with his solicitor. The way the media sought to manipulate events helped to bring the story to life for me.
Crippen - instead of a cold blooded monster - comes over as a clever man dominated by the women in his life by means of his physical relationships with them. I did not find him particularly likeable though I could appreciate his ability to cope with material misfortune and his apparent regard for and appreciation of women. He comes over as both naive and knowledgeable by turns about human nature Was he like this? I don't know but to me his motivations made sense and I could understand how someone like this could have found himself in this situation.
I thought the relationship between Crippen and the investigating officer - Dew - was well done, as was Crippen's relationship with Ethel Le Neve. Did things really happen like this? It is up to the reader to decide but to my mind it is possible it happened like this. I found the book well written and interesting and the author certainly appears to have got inside the murderer's mind and produced a plausible explanation for Crippen's statement that he was innocent of the murder.
Even if you prefer 'true crime' give this a try - you will not be disappointed and neither will the crime fiction fan.
A brilliant, well researched book – highly recommended for readers of historical crime.
If, on the other hand, your taste is more towards exploring the characters of both the perpetrator and the victim of a serious crime like murder, then `Dancing for the Hangman' is the perfect marriage of `true crime' and literary fiction.
I say `perpetrator' because for most readers the notorious Dr Crippen is the one who poisoned his wife to make room for his mistress and then amateurishly buried her remains in the coal cellar of their marital home. In all the years since 1910 the name of Crippen is still a metaphor for the ruthless and cunning poisoner, fit to be displayed at Tussauds along with other murderers of a later generation like Christie and Haigh. But Edwards doesn't show us a waxworks image - we get the real man - one with whom we can empathise and perhaps even feel sympathy for. His portrait of Crippen is as much a picture in words as, say, is Holbein's famous portrait of Thomas Cromwell in paint. The man stares out at you, in Crippen's case more likely blinks out, and you know you'd have no trouble recognising him in the street, even today.
The author takes on the role of detective, showing us what may have happened and offering a plausible alternative to the conventional account of this bit of criminal history. The detective novel turned inside-out.
Edwards's Crippen is a victim, every bit as much as the dead woman.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An evocative re-telling of an infamous criminal case - loved it, despite not being a fan of real-life crime.Published 1 month ago by Puzzle Doctor
I wasn't sure whether I would enjoy this as it's not my usual detective fiction (after all we all know straight away what happened). Read morePublished 22 months ago by paula
Like many people, I already knew the headlines of the Crippen story, but I loved reading this. Martin Edwards has presented an absorbing set of circumstances and web of... Read morePublished on 3 Oct. 2010 by Nora
I have to admit that my copy of Dancing For The Hangman sat on the shelf for quite a while after I received it as a present from a friend who knew I liked Martin Edwards other... Read morePublished on 6 Jun. 2010 by E Spencer
I have to confess I wasn't that interested in the Crippen story until I read that Martin Edwards had tackled a new approach to the case.
And I am a convert. Read more
A tour de force from the author we normally associate with murder mysteries (which are also very good). Read morePublished on 30 April 2009 by Georgina Faye
When ordering this book I did not realise it was "fictionalised history" based on the notorious so-called Dr Crippen murders. Read morePublished on 14 April 2009 by Rev. J. Cooper