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The American Boy by Andrew Taylor
  

The American Boy

Thriller / Suspense   All Shortlists and Winners   Historical Fiction   eBook Favourites   

RRP £10.99

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Winner of the CWA 2009 Cartier Diamond Dagger Award.

Andrew Taylor is a prize-winning and competent crime novelist particularly renowned for his lovely Lydmouth mysteries so I approached this winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Historical Dagger award with great joy. He is a beautiful writer and his choice of subject highly intriguing; a murder mystery surrounding the tutor to the young Edgar Allen Poe. Long (400 pages), atmospheric and complex. It conjures up the dirt of Dickensian London beautifully and it has had some astounding reviews.

If you like Andrew Taylor you might also like to read books by Ruth Rendell, Peter Robinson and Jacqueline Winspear.

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Synopsis

The American Boy by Andrew Taylor

Interweaving real and fictional elements, The American Boy is a major new literary historical crime novel in the tradition of An Instance of the Fingerpost and Possession. England 1819: Thomas Shield, a new master at a school just outside London, is tutor to a young American boy and the boy's sensitive best friend, Charles Frant. Drawn to Frant's beautiful, unhappy mother, Thomas becomes caught up in her family's twisted intrigues. Then a brutal crime is committed, with consequences that threaten to destroy Thomas and all that he has come to hold dear. Despite his efforts, Shield is caught up in a deadly tangle of sex, money, murder and lies -- a tangle that grips him tighter even as he tries to escape from it. And what of the strange American child, at the heart of these macabre events, yet mysterious -- what is the secret of the boy named Edgar Allen Poe?

Reviews

Praise for The American Boy:

'Hugely entertaining. Its beguiling story and atmospheric evocation of Regency London and the winter landscapes of Gloucestershire cry out for a wingback chair by a blazing fire' Observer

'In the end, the myriad mysteries of The American Boy are all neatly accounted for, as one would expect from a thriller writer such as Taylor. But he has transcended any limitations of genre in this novel, for it is a wonderful book, richly composed and beautifully written, an enthralling read from start to finish'
The Times

'Creates an atmosphere close to Sarah Waters' Fingersmith in the convincing depiction of a sadistic underworld. Taylor 's deeply absorbing and beautifully written book is a fitting tribute to the founding father of crime fiction'
Independent

'A most artful and delightful book, that will both amuse and chill, and it will have you desperate to search out a quiet corner to continue your acquaintance with it'
Daily Telegraph

'Taylor spins a magnificent tangential web! The book is full of sharply-etched details evoking Dickensian London and is also a love story, shot through with the pain of a penniless and despised lover. This novel has the literary values which should take it to the top of the lists'
Scotland on Sunday

About the Author

Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor has been a full-time writer since 1981, and has written over twenty books. He has been described by The Times as 'One of Britain's best writers of psychological suspense.'

Having decided to become a writer at the age of ten, he claims that it was his newly recognised facility for writing stories, teamed with the idea that a writer's life consisted of not wearing a tie to work, that first attracted him to the career. More recently however he has suggested that 'one of the attractions of writing fiction is that it allows you to create your own little universe and play God to your heart's content.' It was the discovery of Sherlock Holmes at the tender of age of eight and earlier yet with Enid Blyton's Hurrah for Little Noddy, that his love for crime novels was incited. 'Another thing I like about crime fiction' he asserts, 'is its lack of pretension. It sets out to entertain - it's fiction with its sleeves rolled up.'

In the years preceding Andrew Taylor's breakthrough in the literary world, he worked as a boat-builder, wages clerk, teacher, librarian, labourer and freelance publisher's editor. Since then, Public Lending Right estimates place his British public library readership in the top one per cent.

His novels include the Dougal and Lydmouth crime series, the psychological thriller The Barred Window and his ground-breaking Roth Trilogy, now published in one volume as Requiem for an Angel. He also reviews and writes about crime fiction, particularly in the Independent Awards received for his books include the John Creasey Memorial award from the Crime Writer's Association and an Edgar Scroll from the Mystery Writers of America, both for Caroline Minuscule, and the CWA's Ellis Peters Historical Dagger. The Roth Trilogy was adapted into the acclaimed ITV drama 'Fallen Angel'. 'The American Boy' was a 2005 Richard & Judy Book Club choice.

He lives in the Forest of Dean with his wife, a photographer, and their two children.

Author photo © Caroline Silverwood

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Book Info

Publication date

16th January 2007

Author

Andrew Taylor

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Publisher

HarperPerennial an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Paperback
512 pages

Categories

Thriller / Suspense
All Shortlists and Winners
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery
Historical fiction

ISBN

9780007109609

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