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Friedrich Durrenmatt, ‘The Judge and His Hangman’ (1950) and ‘Suspicion’ (1951)

One of my outstanding books of last year was Friedrich Durrenmatt’s The Pledge, a beautifully balanced Swiss watch of a novel. Reading it is akin to feeling a noose slowly tighten around your neck – you know the outcome will be unpleasant, but there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. The book was originally subtitled … Continue reading

Donald E. Westlake, ‘The Comedy is Finished’ (2012)

Sometimes you can pinpoint the moment a novel grabs you by the lapels. The Comedy is Finished did it to me on page 29: ‘Terror was pulsing just beneath his cocky surface, like a kitten under a blanket.’ Even a month after I read it, I can still remember the smile that that line provoked. … Continue reading