The Crime Writer by Jill Dawson

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews

...is saying that only someone capable of committing the crimes Highsmith wrote about would be able to think them up in the first place. This homage to Highsmith is a curious mix of devotion and naiveté.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

From acclaimed novelist Jill Dawson comes this imaginative psychological thriller—a dark and compelling snapshot into the life of Patricia Highsmith that immerses readers into the intoxicating, nightmarish psyche of this brilliant, complex author. 

When novelist Patricia Highsmith moves into a small cottage in Suffolk, England, in the mid-1960s, she’s seeking seclusion and time to write. There’s another reason for seeking privacy too—Pat is involved in a secret romance with Sam, a married woman living in London.

But even in this quaint village, Pat can’t escape the obligations of her success. A young reporter, Virginia “Ginny” Smythson-Balby, sets her sights on Pat for an article she’s writing. Ginny is both tenacious and oddly familiar, but Pat can’t quite place where she’s seen her before. Intent on unearthing details about Pat’s fascination with not just the subject of murder but the psychology of a murderer, Ginny constantly intrudes into the sanctuary Pat had hoped to create, much to her dismay.

As Pat observes, love is a kind of madness. And when Sam comes for a visit, tension between Pat and Sam’s husband escalates with deadly results. For so long she’s wondered what it would feel like to commit the ultimate transgression. Now she’s not just a chronicler of murder and violence, but a participant as she becomes a character from her own thrilling, disturbing novels. But just like her books, she discovers crime has consequences…dark, surprising, and inescapable.

Jill Dawson deftly explores the public and private life of one of the most intriguing writers of our time, blending fact and fiction in a novel as thrilling as Patricia Highsmith’s own work.

 

About Jill Dawson

See more books from this Author
Jill Dawson is the author of Trick of the Light, Magpie, Fred and Edie, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Orange Prize, Wild Boy, Watch Me Disappear, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize, The Great Lover, a Richard and Judy Summer Read in 2009, Lucky Bunny and The Tell-Tale Heart. In addition she has edited six anthologies of short stories and poetry.Born in Durham, Jill Dawson grew up in Yorkshire. She has held many Fellowships, including the Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia, where she taught on the MA in Creative Writing course. In 2006 she received an honorary doctorate in recognition of her work. She lives in the Fens with her husband, two sons and foster daughter.
 
Published June 2, 2016 by Sceptre. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Crime Writer
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Mar 21 2017

...is saying that only someone capable of committing the crimes Highsmith wrote about would be able to think them up in the first place. This homage to Highsmith is a curious mix of devotion and naiveté.

Read Full Review of The Crime Writer | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Harriet Lane on Jul 26 2017

Dawson has so much pomo fun with the conventions of noir and suspense that her sozzled protagonist (who lacks the charm of Tom Ripley as well as his more dubious talents) is not alone in losing the plot.

Read Full Review of The Crime Writer | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Joanna Briscoe on Jun 08 2016

This is an ingenious concept, one that would be almost impossible to pull off without some sagging, and momentum suffers while observation reigns. Dawson can be applauded for her passionate immersion in her subject, and for creating a novel as dark and odd as the subject herself.

Read Full Review of The Crime Writer | See more reviews from Guardian

Reader Rating for The Crime Writer
62%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 7 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×