Picks and Pans Review: Crippen

updated 03/27/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/27/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

by John Boyne


Marriage is murder, or at least it was for Cora Crippen, a music hall singer whose dismembered body was discovered in 1910 under the London house that she shared with her husband, a former slaughterhouse worker and imposter doctor. Boyne's fictionalization of the gruesome scandal combines the best of true crime and old-fashioned mysteries in an addictive tale. Boyne throws in plenty of delicious twists, and each chapter cuts off with a mini-cliffhanger. The punch-to-the-gut ending is both organic and completely surprising.

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