cover image Fall of Man in Wilmslow

Fall of Man in Wilmslow

David Lagercrantz, trans. from the Swedish by George Goulding. Knopf, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-101-94669-5

Lagercrantz (The Girl in the Spider’s Web) proves that he can succeed with wholly original work in this multifaceted look at the death of British mathematician Alan Turing in 1954. Det. Constable Leonard Corell welcomes the assignment of looking into Turing’s apparent suicide as a break from the boredom of working in the quiet backwater of Wilmslow. Corell, who as a boy had a head for numbers, feels a connection with the dead man, a sentiment that deepens when the policeman learns that Turing was arrested for indecency and subject to some horrific treatments intended to “cure” him of his homosexuality. Turing’s experience revives painful memories of Corell’s own boarding school days, even as his investigation attracts the attention of higher-ups who want things handled discreetly. Corell’s identification with Turing threatens his own professional standing when he bridles at speculation at the inquest as to Turing’s motives for committing suicide. Some memorable prose (Corell recalls a question from his father as reaching “out to him like two open arms”) enhances the complex plot. [em]Agent: Magdalena Hedlund, Hedlund Agency (Sweden). (May) [/em]