Fall of man in Wilmslow by David Lagercrantz The death and life of Alan Turing

Fall of man in Wilmslow by David LagerCrantz

Swedish fiction

Original title – Syndafall i Wilmslow

Translator – George Goulding

Source – review copy



Will you say that we were heroes
Or that fear of dying among strangers
Tore our innocence and false shame away?

And from that moment on deep in my heart I knew
That I would only give my life for love
Brothers in arms in each others arms
Was the only time that I was not afraid

What will you do when the war is over, tender comrade?
When we cast off these khaki clothes
And go our separate ways
What will you say of the bond we had, tender comrade?

I felt Billy Bragg’s  song Tender comrade about gay soldier in the war was a fitting song for a book about Alan Turing !

Now Lagercrantz is a new name as he has written a number of books including ghost writing I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic the biography of the Swedish footballer . This is his first book to be translated into english and is like a taster of what is to come as he was chosen to take over and finish the fourth book in Steig  Larsson’s millennium . Which is coming out later this year . So we get to see a new thriller writer from Sweden . For me the main buzz of the book dropping through my letterbox was it was set in Wilmslow I grew up in Cheshire and never knew it was where the real Alan Turing had died .

He did not like his job . He did not like the salary , the walking , the paperwork , or godforsaken Wilmslow where nothing ever happened . It had got to the point where even now he felt nothing but emptiness .

Corell arrives at the Turing’s  bored of Wilmslow , but is just getting himself started on his toughest case .

The book is a police investigation and biography  of Alan Turing  rolled into one really . The book follows a police detective Constable Corell is trying to discover more about a man who is found dead in his home in the sleepy town of Wimslow .A man is found after dying eating a poison apple . The man is Alan Turing one of the best minds of his genrations a war hero that was never appericated in his lifetime . As Corell starts to piece together Turing life and how he ended up in this sleepy town . The further down the road he gets the darker the past is and the more confused the present becomes .

Turing appeared to find the dream interesting . Corell gathered that the mathematician had a special interest in dreams . He had after all recorded his own dreams in three notebooks , and this conversation also gave rise to a sense of intimacy , and the offence was committed once more .

Corell discover everything about this Genius Turing that has been found dead on his patch !!

This remind me of the film Enigma which mixed history , the second world war , mystery and Bletchley park . The book is like a crime novel but we learn a lot more about the life and times of Alan Turing ,also his rise and fall during and after the war . Add to that the bizarre way he died a poison apple could he have been killed if so whom by ? the story has a great rhythm Corell is more like a guide we see the story unfurl at the same time he does .For me the connection to places I know so well . I must have been passed his house a hundred times during my life not knowing it was his house an old school friend even found an advert from a few years ago when the house was last sold and showed me . I know it is hard to step into the shoes of Steig Larsson , is David Lagercrantz a good choice . Well from this one book yes he seems to pace his story well which for me when I read the millennium series was part of what I enjoyed you were drawn into a world and Lagercrantz has done this in this book .I look forward to see what and where he is taking Lisbeth so if you are waiting to read The girl in the spider’s web ,why not try a bit of post world war two drama .

What are your thoughts on writers carrying on series after the original writer has died ?


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 1streading
    May 04, 2015 @ 19:39:57

    An interesting find – especially as Turing continues to be topical – and you even have a local connection. As for another writer continuing a series, having been brought up on comics I don’t find this at all unusual, which is not to say it always works well. If you don’t like it, don’t read.


    • winstonsdad
      May 04, 2015 @ 19:42:47

      Yes I was aware of him of course just not his death and living there .Yes comics carry on regardless and each writer artist takes new directions . I hope this works as it felt like a series that could carried on


  2. hastanton
    May 04, 2015 @ 19:42:45

    I am v interested to read this …I think I will buy it for my husband who is a mathematician AND was hugely in to the Stieg Larsson trilogy …ticks all the boxes.

    I am not surprised to hear that Alan Turing’s name was unknown in Wilmslow. I was at Manchester Uni in the 1980s , my ( then) boyfriend even studied Maths and Turing was not a name that was mentioned at all….airbrushed out of history . Of course , everyone is now falling over themselves to claim him ……


    • winstonsdad
      May 04, 2015 @ 19:45:13

      Yes it wasn’t til the last few decades his full effect on maths and computing post war become better known .I have passed this house so many times without know this bit of history


  3. roughghosts
    May 05, 2015 @ 00:24:55

    Seems like an unusual yet intriguing fictional subject for a soon to be crime writer. I never read the Steig Larsson novels so I have no investment one way or another in continuing the series. However continuing to produce a “sure thing” rather than in vesting in new works/translations makes me feel just a wee bit cynical about the publisher’s motives.


  4. heavenali
    May 05, 2015 @ 07:06:42

    Goodness that sounds so interesting. I love all the stories surrounding Enigma and Bletchley that this book will have to go straight on to my wishlist.


  5. Col
    May 05, 2015 @ 07:59:25

    I’d enjoyed Enigma film and thought story of Turing fascinating so would certainly be keen on this. However am much less keen on continuing to produce the Larsson books after his death no matter how good a writer Lagercrantz is – it all just seems a bit of a cynical ploy to cash in to me – mind you I loved the Millennium books so much it’s a ploy I will no doubt give into myself!


  6. poppypeacockpens
    May 05, 2015 @ 08:23:31

    This sounds very like the premise of The Imitation Game – released last year – showing Turing in Wilmslow post war as well as his time at Bletchley. Excellent film… despite his epic achievements during WWII Turing was treated pretty abominably. would definitely be good to compare this with the film.


  7. BookerTalk
    May 07, 2015 @ 19:19:57

    I’m not a great fan of authors picking up when the original author died. Sometimes it feels too much like the publishing house are just trying to milk the opportunity for sales on the back of the first author. This novel sounds very close to the BBC drama about Turing and also the Imitation Game.


  8. Mary Mayfield
    May 11, 2015 @ 09:59:38

    Sadly I didn’t get on well with Fall of Man in Wilmslow. I didn’t like Correll’s character, the logic/imaginary numbers bit bored me and I think the back-story of Turing and Bletchley park is too well known. Robert Harris’ Enigma is more of a thriller but I preferred it.


  9. Trackback: Winstonsdad’s Books of the year | Winstonsdad's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

May 2015


%d bloggers like this: