Death in the air : the true story of a serial killer, the great London smog, and the strangling of a city /

by Dawson, Kate Winkler [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Hachette Books, 2017.Edition: First edition.Description: 341 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9780316506861 (hardcover).Subject(s): Christie, Reginald | Serial murderers -- England -- London -- Case studies | Smog -- England -- London -- History -- 20th century | London (England) -- Social conditions -- 20th century | London (England) -- Environmental conditions -- 20th century
Pressure -- Blackout -- Restrained -- Trapped -- Bodies in the mist -- Postmortem -- Smothered -- Hearth and home -- Squeezed -- Buried -- Illumination -- Infamous -- Legacy.
List(s) this item appears in: Earth Day
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Item type Home library Collection Shelving location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Books Books Altadena Main Library
Adult Collection Adult NonFiction 364.1523 DAW Available 39270004653626

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

A real-life thriller in the vein of The Devil in the White City, Kate Winkler Dawson's debut Death in the Air is a gripping, historical narrative of a serial killer, an environmental disaster, and an iconic city struggling to regain its footing. <br> <br> London was still recovering from the devastation of World War II when another disaster hit: for five long days in December 1952, a killer smog held the city firmly in its grip and refused to let go. Day became night, mass transit ground to a halt, criminals roamed the streets, and some 12,000 people died from the poisonous air. But in the chaotic aftermath, another killer was stalking the streets, using the fog as a cloak for his crimes.<br> <br> All across London, women were going missing--poor women, forgotten women. Their disappearances caused little alarm, but each of them had one thing in common: they had the misfortune of meeting a quiet, unassuming man, John Reginald Christie, who invited them back to his decrepit Notting Hill flat during that dark winter. They never left.<br> <br> The eventual arrest of the "Beast of Rillington Place" caused a media frenzy: were there more bodies buried in the walls, under the floorboards, in the back garden of this house of horrors? Was it the fog that had caused Christie to suddenly snap? And what role had he played in the notorious double murder that had happened in that same apartment building not three years before--a murder for which another, possibly innocent, man was sent to the gallows?<br> <br> The Great Smog of 1952 remains the deadliest air pollution disaster in world history, and John Reginald Christie is still one of the most unfathomable serial killers of modern times. Journalist Kate Winkler Dawson braids these strands together into a taut, compulsively readable true crime thriller about a man who changed the fate of the death penalty in the UK, and an environmental catastrophe with implications that still echo today.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 303-303) and index.

Pressure -- Blackout -- Restrained -- Trapped -- Bodies in the mist -- Postmortem -- Smothered -- Hearth and home -- Squeezed -- Buried -- Illumination -- Infamous -- Legacy.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Prologue (p. 1)
  • Chapter 1 Pressure (p. 8)
  • Chapter 2 Blackout (p. 24)
  • Chapter 3 Restrained (p. 49)
  • Chapter 4 Trapped (p. 73)
  • Chapter 5 Bodies in the Mist (p. 94)
  • Chapter 6 Postmortem (p. 116)
  • Chapter 7 Smothered (p. 144)
  • Chapter 8 Hearth and Home (p. 164)
  • Chapter 9 Squeezed (p. 183)
  • Chapter 10 Buried (p. 206)
  • Chapter 11 Illumination (p. 234)
  • Chapter 12 Infamous (p. 252)
  • Chapter 13 Legacy (p. 270)
  • Epilogue (p. 282)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 299)
  • Notes (p. 303)
  • Index (p. 335)
  • About the Author (p. 342)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Two events occurred in London in the early 1950s that would change the law. The first became known as the Great Smog: a fog that enveloped London in 1952 with poisonous air that seeped into every nook and cranny of the city. Even though London was renowned for its "pea-soup" fog, the Great Smog was extreme, caused by the smoke of over a million coal fires combining with thick fog that lingered for days. Killing over 12,000 people, the tragedy led to clean air legislation. The second event eventually led to the abolition of capital punishment. Dawson (journalism, Univ. of Texas at Austin) tells of how in 1950, Timothy Evans was convicted and hanged for the murder of his wife and daughter. In 1953, John Reginald Christie, Evans's neighbor and a serial murderer who took the lives of at least seven women, was finally apprehended. Christie's conviction cast doubt on Evans's execution, as many wondered if Christie was the actual killer. This doubt eventually contributed to legislation suspending the death penalty in 1965. VERDICT Tendrils of sickening fog creep everywhere in this book, and terror lurks in the shadows. Dawson skillfully weaves these two events into a substantial narrative that will appeal to all types of -readers.-Penelope J.M. Klein, Fayetteville, NY © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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