This volume offers bracing new translations of two precursors to the modern detective novel by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, whose genre-bending mysteries recall the work of Alain Robbe-Grillet and anticipate the postmodern fictions of Paul Auster and other contemporary neo-noir novelists. Both mysteries follow Inspector Barlach as he moves through worlds in which the distinction between crime and justice seems to have vanished. In The Judge and His Hangman, Barlach forgoes the arrest of a murderer in order to manipulate him into killing another, more elusive criminal. And in Suspicion, Barlach pursues a former Nazi doctor by checking into his clinic with the hope of forcing him to reveal himself. The result is two thrillers that bring existential philosophy and the detective genre into dazzling convergence.
The mysterious and unbearably tense tale of a detective's obsessive pursuit of a child murderer, from one of the post-war era's greatest writers in German
When a young girl is found brutally murdered in a Swiss mountain forest, the brilliant Inspector Matthai can’t put the case behind him. Not even when a local felon is arrested. Not even once the suspect has confessed.
Matthai promises the girl’s mother that he will stop at nothing to find the real killer.
Adapted into a Hollywood film, The Pledge is the chilling story of a man in desperate search of the truth. A man driven to sacrifice everything, to commit acts of cruelty and obsession in a desperate search for a killer he can’t find.
Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990) was a Swiss author and dramatist, most famous for his plays The Visit and The Physicists, which earned him a reputation as one of the greatest playwrights in the German language. He also wrote four highly regarded crime novels - The Pledge, The Judge and His Hangman, Suspicion and The Execution of Justice, all of which will be published by Pushkin Vertigo.
Inspector Barlach has a year to live, but he's not going quietly
When Inspector Barlach notices that a successful Swiss surgeon bears a striking resemblance to an infamous Nazi war criminal, a suspicion begins to gnaw away at him - could they be one and the same person? Determined to expose the monster behind the surgeon's mask, the ailing inspector checks himself into the doctor's exclusive clinic. But all does not go to plan, and soon Barlach realizes that he is at the mercy of his own prey. Will he find a way out before it's too late?
Suspicion is a dark mystery about a dying man's struggle to destroy a wickedness lurking in plain sight.
Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990) was a Swiss author and dramatist, most famous for his plays The Visit and The Physicists, which earned him a reputation as one of the greatest playwrights in the German language. He also wrote four highly regarded crime novels - The Pledge, The Judge and His...
The Swiss writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921–90) was one of the most important literary figures of the second half of the twentieth century. During the years of the cold war, arguably only Beckett, Camus, Sartre, and Brecht rivaled him as a presence in European letters. Yet outside Europe, this prolific author is primarily known for only one work, The Visit . With these long-awaited translations of his plays, fictions, and essays, Dürrenmatt becomes available again in all his brilliance to the English-speaking world. This second volume of Selected Writings reveals a writer who may stand as Kafka’s greatest heir. Dürrenmatt’s novellas and short stories are searing, tragicomic explorations of the ironies of justice and the corruptibility of institutions. Apart from The Pledge , a requiem to the detective story that was made into a film starring Jack Nicholson, none of the works in this volume are available elsewhere in English. Among the most evocative fictions included here are two novellas: The Assignment and Traps . The Assignment tells the story of a woman filmmaker investigating a mysterious murder in an unnamed Arab country and has been hailed by Sven Birkerts as “a parable of hell for an age consumed by images.” Traps , meanwhile, is a chilling comic novella about a traveling salesman who agrees to play the role of the defendant in a mock trial among dinner companions—and then pays the ultimate penalty. Dürrenmatt has long been considered a great writer—but one unfairly neglected in the modern world of letters. With these elegantly conceived and expertly translated volumes, a new generation of readers will rediscover his greatest works.