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Dancing for the Hangman

Authors: Martin Edwards

Published by Flambard Press

ISBN: 9781906601003

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It is 1910 and Dr Hawley Crippen is on trial for the murder of his wife Cora. As the prosecution presents the overwhelming evidence against him, Crippen stands on the brink of execution. Laying bare his life, he looks back at his austere childhood in Coldwater, Michigan, a stuttering career in the US and England, his sexually charged marriage to Cora and life on the run with his lover Ethel le Neve. Yet as he revisits his life, Crippen entreats us to consider his ‘confession’: I am not a murderer.

In Dancing for the Hangman, Martin Edwards reopens the file on one of the most notorious and fascinating cases in crime history. Edwards merges imaginative insight with detailed and extensive research to bring to life the characters and events of a hundred years ago. Exploring all the known facts of the murder trial, Edwards skilfully reveals the many questions surrounding Crippen’s conviction and arrives at a fresh interpretation of the case. Darkly humorous and highly readable, Dancing for the Hangman is also a strikingly vivid portrait of Crippen himself, drawing the reader deep into the mind of this hapless, baffling and complex figure.

Martin Edwards is the author of several novels, including The Arsenic Labyrinth and Waterloo Sunset (Allison & Busby). He was born in Knutsford, Cheshire and holds a first-class honours degree in Law from Oxford University. He is a member of the Murder Squad collective of crime writers and is chairman of the nominations sub-committee for the CWA Diamond Dagger. In 2007 he was appointed the Archivist of the Crime Writers’ Association.

"True crime is fascinating when it is presented as fiction by an author as skilful as Martin Edwards. This highly original reconstruction of the Crippen murder case gives a new interpretation of the facts: persuasive and original." - Jessica Mann, Literary Review
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