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The Crime Writer

by Jill Dawson

This book gripped me from the first page to the last. Set in 1964, Patricia Highsmith, the crime writer of the title and already famous, is attempting to live inconspicuously in a Norfolk village in order to cope with her inner demons. If you are a fan of Highsmith, or interested in the craft of the biographer, you may enjoy the book even more than I did - but I can't believe that's possible. I can't recommend it too highly.

Extract

That's my gift. I'm like Mark Twain: I know that folks are like the moon - all of them have a dark side. What's Frances's dark side, then? Not much hidden, that's too easy. She's a parasite, a vampire: she only feels alive when she drinks the blood of others. And mine? Mine is so bottomless one book couldn't contain it.

Parallels

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale
The Limehouse Golem by Peter Ackroyd
The Two Faces of January by Patricia Highsmith
 

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