Thursday, July 18, 2019

Ten notable historical crime novels

Laura Purcell worked in local government, the financial industry and a bookshop before becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Colchester, the oldest recorded town in England, with her husband and pet guinea pigs. Fascinated by the darker side of royal history, Purcell has also written two historical fiction novels about the Hanoverian dynasty. Her new novel is The Poison Thread.

At CrimeReads, Purcell tagged a few of her "favorite novels that play with the theme of guilt and will have you questioning your own morality," including:
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

We are often told that evil triumphs when good people do nothing. In her Booker-Prize-winning masterpiece, Atwood explores precisely that. Can you be so caught up in your own life and troubles that your actions inadvertently lead to another’s death?

The tale of sisters Iris and Laura Chase is separated into three narrative threads: Iris’s recollections as an elderly woman, newspaper articles from the past and passages of Laura’s posthumously-published novel. Layer by layer, Atwood peels down to the darkest depths of human nature and its capacity for self-deception. While the story has profound and serious themes, reaching far beyond the relationship between the two sisters, it is nonetheless full of Iris’s acerbic wit.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Blind Assassin is among K Chess's five top fictional books inside of real books, Brendan Mathews's ten epic page-turners, CiarĂ¡n Hinds' six favorite books, and Lee Kelly's five favorite books with unforgettable sisters.

--Marshal Zeringue