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 febrile atmosphere of the Cold War, loose cannons cannot be tolerated. As his innocent curiosity takes him far out of his depth, Corell realises he has much to learn about the dangers of forbidden knowledge.
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 - Spectator
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 - Sunday Times
Absorbing . . . Gets the synapses sparking . . . Lagercrantz is at home with a damaged hero who has more of an affinity with computers than humans - Sunday Telegraph
A persuasive evocation of Turing's genius and of a Britain still suffering under rationing and repression - 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 - Independent
Lagercrantz is perceptive in his treatment of the tragic Turing . . . 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 - Independent
David Lagercrantz was born in 1962, and is an acclaimed author and journalist. In 2015 The Girl in the Spider's Web, his continuation of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, became a worldwide bestseller and was made into a film by Sony Pictures (2018). He is the author of the acclaimed and bestselling I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Fall of Man in Wilmslow, and the fifth in the Millennium series, The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye.