Customer Review

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Requiem for the Detective Novel, 15 May 2007
This review is from: The Pledge (Paperback)
The original 1958 edition of this novella was subtitled "A Requiem for the Detective Novel" -- a nugget of context unfortunately missing from this attractive new edition. This absent subtitle is rather important, because it very clearly identifies the taut little tale as one that challenges the traditional arc (crime, investigation, solution) of detective fiction. While the story does follow this arc, the "solution" subverts the qualities of reason, logic, heroism, and determination that are so often extolled in crime fiction -- and by doing so it acts as a critique of the modern era.

The plot is very simple, a little girl is found murdered in some woods on the outskirts of a small Swiss town. A master police detective on his last week of work before leaving on a plumb foreign contract takes the case, and, per the title, promises the mother of the slain girl that her daughter's killer will be brought to justice. A suspect is brought in and confesses, but the detective isn't satisfied, and pursues his pledge to the edge of madness.

The framework for the story is a little clunky, as it's related by the detective's former boss to an anonymous mystery writer. Some of the details also aren't crystal clear, for example, the murder is referred to as a "sex" crime, but it's also clearly established that there was no sexual element. However, these are minor points that should not obscure the power of the novella's grip, which, as others have pointed out, has echoes of Camus.

Note: The book has been adapted for film and television no less than six times! In reverse order, The Pledge (2001, USA) , Es Geschah am Hellichten Tag (1997, Germany), The Cold Light of Day (1996, UK/Netherlands) , Posledneye delo komissara Berlakha (1988, USSR) , La Promessa (1979, Italy) , Es Geschah am Hellichten Tag (1958, Germany).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.3 out of 5 stars (7 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
£12.00
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer

A. Ross
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: Washington, DC

Top Reviewer Ranking: 489