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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



Thomson, Rupert: Death of a Murderer

  Amazon  

5 stars

This could have been a very different sort of a book, given the set-up. Britain's most notorious criminal is a woman, never named, who together with her lover tortured and killed a number of children in the 1960s. After some thirty years in prison she has finally died of natural causes. The news of her death reopens old wounds: people revile her as much as they ever did, if not more. Her corpse, deep in the bowels of the hospital awaiting removal to a crematorium, requires police protection--from souvenir seakers, from people who would abuse it. Constable Billy Tyler is asked to take the graveyard shift, twelve hours locked alone in the room with a bank of refrigerated drawers--hers unmarked and locked. His wife begs him not to go, as if the corpse contains within it some transferable evil. But of course he can't refuse the assignment. This can't end well, we think.

But this isn't that kind of a book. There may be ghosts in the mortuary, but if so it doesn't matter. Billy is left alone with his thoughts for most of the night, and we are privy to them, so that by the end of his shift Billy's character has been laid bare in spare prose that belies the power of the story. Some of Billy's memories are related to the woman he's guarding: her crimes intersected with his life in surprising ways. But mostly his life is no different from most people's: he's a good man who's done some bad things; he's been happy and loved and miserable and things haven't quite worked out according to plan; he can still feel shame over embarrassments experienced in childhood. He is, in the end, entirely credible.

Death of a Murderer is a quiet read, surprising in its effect. The last scene--the last sentence--a small moment caught in simple prose, will break your heart--in a good way, I think. And it will leave you wondering how he did that, the author, just by putting words together on the page.

Comments

1.

Sounds excellent! I'll have to add it to my list to read later!

2.

Great! I'd mail my copy to you but it's already being borrowed by another friend.

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