Erik Larson on London

Erik Larson

During a research trip to London for Thunderstruck, an unusual bout of scalding weather forced me to transfer to a hotel with air-conditioning. I found a room at The Academy, a sophisticated and well-chilled hotel in a row of Georgian town houses in Bloomsbury.

The next day, I began hunting the addresses of key events in my book, and discovered that by sheer coincidence my new room overlooked the very block where my killer and his wife once lived. It was a serendipitous if slightly creepy moment, one of those bursts of historical resonance that I always hope for. --Erik Larson

Thunderstruck goes on sale Oct. 24. The Academy: 011-44/ 20-7631-4115, theetoncollection.com, doubles from $188.

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