Every book of his that I've read has been great and Thunderstruck is no exception. In this novel, Larson does a fantastic job of highlighting a significant historical event, the invention of the wireless radio, and bringing it to life. Coupled with the intriguing murder-mystery parallel plot, you won't be able to put this book down.
One thing I always enjoy in Erik Larson books is his way of taking first person accounts and historical facts and bringing them to life in a way that you have to remind yourself that these are real things and people. In this book, he weaves a story of a brilliant, but socially ignorant, young inventor. Young Marconi's underdog attempt to invent wireless radio, with so many other prominent scientists on the same cusp of discovery, will keep you rooting for him in his race against time despite his social blunders and cold business decisions.
Meanwhile, we are also introduced to the murder mystery, with the main suspect being an awkward and seemingly insignificant man named Dr. Crippen. Larson keeps you guessing until the very end about whether this man, who you eventually grow attached to, could really be capable of murder.
While the whole book is enthralling, it is the suspenseful and action-packed ending that will surprise you. The two stories play out in a way that makes it hard to believe that it is, in fact, a true story that you've just read.
Even if you think you don't like non-fiction or historical novels, give Erik Larson a try. His books may just make you think twice. You'll walk away marveling at the immense amount of research that went into it and the masterful way it was presented.