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Andrew Wilson is the author of Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize and won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best biography. He has written for most of Britain's national newspapers, including The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and the Daily Mail. He lives in London.
Author photo © Johnny Ring
In the early hours of 15 April 1912, after the majestic liner Titanic had split apart and the 1,500 men, women and children struggled to stay alive in the freezing Atlantic, the sea was alive with the sound of screaming. Then, as the ship sank to the ocean floor and the passengers slowly died from hypothermia, a deathly silence settled over the sea. Yet the echoes of that night reverberated through the lives of each of the 705 survivors.
'I wouldn't scream if I were you. Unless you want the whole world to learn about your husband and his mistress.' Agatha Christie, in London to visit her literary agent, boards a train, preoccupied and flustered in the knowledge that her husband Archie is having an affair. She feels a light touch on her back, causing her to lose her balance, then a sense of someone pulling her to safety from the rush of the incoming train. So begins a terrifying sequence of events. Her rescuer is no guardian angel; rather, he is a blackmailer of the most insidious, manipulative kind. Agatha must use every ounce of her cleverness and resourcefulness to thwart an adversary determined to exploit her genius for murder to kill on his behalf. 'Wilson not only knows his subject but he deftly moves the tale away from mere literary ventriloquism and into darker territory. Great fun, too' Observer 'The queen of crime is the central character in this audacious mystery, which reinvents the story of her mysterious disappearance with thrilling results' Guardian 'A thoroughly clever entertainment and a fitting homage to the great author, but it has a chilling melancholy all its own' The Tablet What readers are saying about A Talent for Murder: 'The initial premise of the story is pure genius, and when the reader realises by the end of chapter one whose head they are inside, goose bumps are guaranteed to occur' Greg, Goodreads, 4 stars 'A darkly twisting tale of murder and manipulation' Erin Britton, NetGalley, 4 stars 'This is a must-read for crime fiction fans, and Agatha Christie fans especially who will discover a new side to the Queen of Crime herself!' Vincent, Goodreads, 5 stars 'I enjoy Agatha Christie and this book did not disappoint. I devoured this book in two days' Annie, Goodreads, 4 stars 'Great mystery and action novel featuring Agatha Christie as you've never seen her before. Part biography/part thrill ride this is one novel I didn't want to end' Nikkia Neil, NetGalley, 5 stars 'An intriguing homage that stirs the imagination of the amateur sleuth in all of us ... A Talent for Murder is one novel that definitely deserves attention and praise' Elspeth G. Perkin, Goodreads, 4 stars 'This was a really good read especially for fans of Agatha Christie and even those who have never read her books' Teresa, Goodreads, 4 stars 'So, so enjoyable! Great for book club discussion due to the real mystery behind it' Kaylee Mitchell, Goodreads, 5 stars 'A fun read for Christie fans'Roman Clodia, NetGalley, 4 stars 'I'll admit to being totally drawn along by this novel; I couldn't wait to keep reading and find out how it would all turn out. I really would recommend this book as an interesting account of Christie's missing eleven days; you will be entertained' Kate Baty, 4 stars, NetGalley 'An exciting novel, a must for all Christie fans! Did you see what was happening? Did you spot the red herrings? The obvious clues. No? I didn't and that is probably what makes this a very clever novel' Joanne D'arcy, NetGalley, 5 stars 'A very enjoyable read, in the tradition of Christie herself, well researched and inventive ... plenty of unexpected plot twists to keep you on your toes. What fun!' Lisa Friel, NetGalley, 4 stars 'Unusual and entertaining' Tina Stringer, NetGalley 4 stars 'Entertaining, feasible plotting and an authentic narrative make this a highly enjoyable read' J Graham, NetGalley, 4 stars