5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Dark and Agonising Tale of a Detective's Destruction,
This review is from: The Pledge (Paperback)
Friedrich Dürrenmatt's The Pledge is a tale of the fall of a brilliant Swiss detective. The denouement is somewhat pat, but the analysis of the detective's psyche is very good. A little girl is savagely murdered and the detective makes a promise to her mother that he will find the killer. When a suspect is arrested and he subsequently commits suicide, everybody is satisfied that the case is closed, even the victim's parents. But the detective is not convinced, and against all evidence and in the face of his superiors' disapproval, he lays an intricate trap to catch the killer. He is so obsessed with this plan that he doesn't mind sacrificing everything he has - his reputation, his relationships, even his 'adopted' family - to fulfil his pledge. The plan fails and he loses his mind, and when the explanation arrives (a bit contrived), it is far too late to save the detective. This is a small book, a quick but agonising read, and well worth for its insight into the extremes of human nature.