A Tale of Two Murders: Guilt, Innocence, and the Execution of Edith Thompson by Laura Thompson is, remarkably, a blend of all these: escapism, a search for justice, and an attempt at realizing, as fully as possible, the essence of a real person — and that very person's search for herself through words.
London, October 1922. Edith Thompson and her husband, Percy, were on the way home from the theater. A man, Freddy Bywaters, came out of the shadows and murdered Edith’s husband. It turned out that Bywaters was Edith’s lover; they were both charged with Percy’s murder, and they were both convicted and executed. In this intense and precise account of the case and its aftermath, the author explores the possibility that Edith was unfairly convicted; Freddy claimed several times that Edith wasn’t involved, and it is quite possible he was telling the truth, not merely lying to save the life of the woman he loved ... A terrific book: compassionate, nuanced, and thought-provoking.
Thompson provides the definitive look at a British cause célèbre in this riveting and multifaceted study of the notorious Thompson-Bywaters murder, the first such study to make use of all the Home Office files on the case ... Thompson’s detailed description of prevailing attitudes about the role of women in British society gives the book a broader social relevance than most true crime books.