Fall of Man in Wilmslow
By David Lagercrantz
A powerful tale of honour, prejudice and the twentieth century's most maltreated hero
June 8, 1954. Alan Turing, the visionary mathematician, is found dead at his home in sleepy Wilmslow, dispatched by a poisoned apple.
Taking the case, Detective Constable Leonard Corell quickly learns Turing is a convicted homosexual. Confident it's a suicide, he is nonetheless confounded by official secrecy over Turing's war record. What is more, Turing's sexuality appears to be causing alarm among the intelligence services - could he have been blackmailed by Soviet spies?
Stumbling across evidence of Turing's genius, and sensing an escape from a narrow life, Corell soon becomes captivated by Turing's brilliant and revolutionary work, and begins to dig deeper.
But in the paranoid, febrile atmosphere of the Cold War, loose cannons cannot be tolerated. As his innocent curiosity fast takes him far out of his depth, Corell realises he has much to learn about the dangers of forbidden knowledge.
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- Publication date:
07 May 2015
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Lagercrantz neatly intertwines the facts of Turing's life with the fiction of Corell's quest for knowledge to create an unsettling story of state secrets and sexual hypocrisy — Nick Rennison, Sunday Times
Has the faintest whiff of W.G. Sebald; haunted characters determined to pull others down into turbid, oppressive currents of memory and ideas. You are willingly drawn down with them — Sinclair McKay, Spectator
Swedish crime fiction moves into Britain's heartland in this superbly written espionage and murder novel . . . Lagercrantz has the lingo, the mood and the place down pat. — Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Absorbing . . . Gets the synapses sparking . . . Lagercrantz is at home with a damaged hero who has more of an affinity with computers than humans — Jake Kerridge, Sunday Telegraph
A persuasive evocation of Turing's genius and of a Britain still suffering under rationing and repression — Harry Ritchie, Daily Mail
Perhaps the most signal achievement here is the clever melding of two narrative forms: a sympathetic biography of a real historical figure treated appallingly by the establishment, and a police procedural in which a dogged copper tries to crack a mystery in the teeth of bloody-minded intransigence — Barry Forshaw, Independent