Thunderstruck

Thunderstruck

Summary

'A big, bold approach to the writing of narrative non-fiction . . . it shows how tiny lives may occasionally become caught up in the wonders of the age' GUARDIAN

In 1910, Edwardian England was scandalized by a murder.

Mild-mannered American Hawley Crippen had killed his wife, buried her remains in the cellar of their North London home and then gone on the run with his young mistress, his secretary Ethel Le Neve.

A Scotland Yard inspector, already famous for his part in the Ripper investigation, discovered the murder and launched an international hunt for Crippen that climaxed in a trans-Atlantic chase between two ocean liners.

The chase itself was novel, but what captured the imagination was the role played by a new and little understood technology: the wireless. Thanks to its inventor Marconi's obsessive fight to perfect his machine, the world was able to learn of events occurring in the middle of the Atlantic as they unfolded - something previously unthinkable.

It was the Crippen case that helped convince the world of the potential of Marconi's miracle technology, so accelerating the revolution that eventually produced the modern means of communication we take for granted today . . .

Reviews

  • Shines a vivid electric light on the birth of the modern age...Larson is a great master of narrative
    Mail on Sunday

About the author

Erik Larson

Erik Larson is a prize-winning journalist and narrative historian. His books include Isaac's Storm, Thunderstruck and In the Garden of Beasts and have combined sales of nearly 6 million copies and been published in 14 countries. His No.1 bestseller The Devil in the White City won an Edgar Award and was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Non-Fiction Award. He lives in Seattle.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more