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He works well to link the men, who were not acquainted beforehand, and weaves a story that captivates the attention of many while also turning it into a piece of criminal non-fiction. His use of historical events, both related to the men and the general goings-on of the times, helps put everything into context. The detail offered by Larson throughout the narrative breathes life into the story, without bogging things down too much.
Maybe Belle Elmore really was an evil, shrewish bitch who abused her husband until he finally snapped. Maybe Larson is a woke guy who reported things accurately and characterized everyone fairly. Maybe Larson is like so many other men who don’t see women as fully human and viewed Belle through that lens of WANTING her to be the villain.
The last hundred or so pages, covering the murder and the chase, were riveting. Fifty betsafe casino bonus code pages of notes, bibliography and index ensure that this work of popular history can also stay on the bookshelf as a reference work, always a plus. I’d recommend Thunderstruck to readers who like a good true-life yarn. If it’s shocking, scandalous, or over-the-top, it sells. Sometimes it’s nefarious deeds that make a story compelling….sometimes it’s celebrity status that makes humanity follow every move some people make.
I must be a cynic–of course the quiet, retiring guy was eventually going to snap! Still, the chase towards the end of the book is surprisingly suspenseful, considering by today’s standards it unfolded at a snail’s pace. Hawley Crippen was a man of some means, with a medical degree to validate many of his ideas. While the late Victorian Era was one where people turned to any possible cure for their ailments, Crippen was the peddler of new and innovative ones through the guise of homeopathy.
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Marconi himself was too dedicated and immersed in his work, and too headstrong, to be really interesting on his own. I enjoy how he ties a famous event to a tale of murder that was going on at the same time. I n Thunderstruck, I just didn’t enjoy the chapters about Marconi. The chapters on Crippen were fantastic, but went much too fast and were too short.
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Crippen and his “friend”, Ethel LaNeve attempt to flee to the US, aboard the Montrose, one of the luxury passenger ships so popular at the time. The circumstances of the murder are made public through the use of Marconi’s telegraphy and the Captain of the ship believes that the suspects are aboard his ship. Larson takes two disparate issues of history and blends them into a story where the issues overlap. In this case it is the development of wireless communication invented by Marconi and the hunt for Dr. Crippen, the British wife murderer.