The Crime Writer

The Crime Writer

3.43 (516 ratings by Goodreads)
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Paula Hawkins

In 1964, the eccentric American novelist Patricia Highsmith is hiding out in a cottage in Suffolk, to concentrate on her writing and escape her fans. She has another motive too - a secret romance with a married lover based in London.

Unfortunately it soon becomes clear that all her demons have come with her. Prowlers, sexual obsessives, frauds, imposters, suicides and murderers: the tropes of her fictions clamour for her attention, rudely intruding on her peaceful Suffolk retreat. After the arrival of Ginny, an enigmatic young journalist bent on interviewing her, events take a catastrophic turn. Except, as always in Highsmith's troubled life, matters are not quite as they first appear . . .

Masterfully recreating Highsmith's much exercised fantasies of murder and madness, Jill Dawson probes the darkest reaches of the imagination in this novel - at once a brilliant portrait of a writer and an atmospheric, emotionally charged, riveting tale.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 130 x 197 x 17mm | 184g
  • Sceptre
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1444731130
  • 9781444731132
  • 444,111

Review Text

It's brilliant Paula Hawkins
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Review quote

[An] impeccable portrait . . . a hugely compelling read, jam-packed full of tensions and psychological insight, all beautifully observed. -- Eithne Farry * Sunday Express * This novel is the real deal. Beautifully written and a must for all Highsmith fans. * Phyllis Nagy, scriptwriter of the film CAROL * This novel is one wonderful long riff on Patricia Highsmith . . . Unsettling, sexy and gripping * Tim Pears * Fantastically moody and appealingly unhinged - a piece of sophisticated literary ventriloquism that achieves a wonderful blurring of the lines between fact and fantasy. -- Sarah Waters * Summer Reads, Guardian * An intoxicating, shadowy narrative . . . [Dawson's] imagined version of events will delight Highsmith's fans * Crime Scene magazine * An assured and visceral page-turner, as convincing as it is bold -- Stephanie Cross * Lady * A dark tale of madness and murder, of obsession and delusion, that's worthy of Highsmith herself -- Sarra Manning * Red * Dawson skilfully constructs a dark tale that Highsmith fans will love -- Nick Rennison * Sunday Times * Dawson has drawn a witty, creepy plot as well as a convincing character sketch of a woman all too easy to caricature -- Jake Kerridge * Daily Telegraph * A beautifully crafted and utterly riveting blend of fact and fiction about a fascinating 20th-century figure. -- Carla McKay * Daily Mail * An ingenious concept . . . Dawson can be applauded for her passionate immersion in her subject, and for creating a novel as dark and odd as the subject herself. -- Joanna Briscoe * Guardian * You do not need to be a passionate Highsmith fan to admire this beautifully written and elegant novel, but I think it will particularly appeal to those who have read her books and know something about her life; they should recognise many of the allusions and ideas -- Jessica Mann * Literary Review * Ventriloquy is Dawson's forte . . . this fascinating, skilfully constructed novel builds a convincing picture of Patricia Highsmith -- Andrew Taylor * Spectator * THE CRIME WRITER represents an astonishing act of literary ventriloquism, easily on a par with THE MASTER, Colm Toibin's fine novel about Henry James. -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday * It's brilliant * Paula Hawkins *
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About Jill Dawson

Jill Dawson is the author of the novels Trick of the Light, Magpie, Fred and Edie, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award, Wild Boy, Watch Me Disappear, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize, The Great Lover, Lucky Bunny, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Crime Writer, which won the East Anglian Book of the Year. An award-winning poet, she has also edited several poetry and short story anthologies.
Jill Dawson has held many Fellowships, including the Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia. In 2008 she founded a mentoring scheme for new writers, Gold Dust. She lives in the Cambridgeshire Fens.
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Rating details

516 ratings
3.43 out of 5 stars
5 13% (69)
4 37% (190)
3 33% (172)
2 13% (65)
1 4% (20)
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