Payment Deferred (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 3 Nov 2011
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Compelling (Sunday Times)
C. S. Forester is a splendid storyteller (Guardian)
I recommend Forester to every literate I know (Ernest Hemingway)
The unsung godfather of English noir (Andrew Taylor)
About the Author
Cecil Scott Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith (27 August 1899 - 2 April 1966), an English novelist who rose to fame with tales of naval warfare. His most notable works were the 11-book Horatio Hornblower series, depicting a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic era, and The African Queen (1935; filmed in 1951 by John Huston). His novels A Ship of the Line and Flying Colours were jointly awarded the 1938 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. He began his career with the crime novels Payment Deferred and Plain Murder, now reissued in Penguin Modern Classics along with The Pursued, which was lost for over 60 years.
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Between the wars a family is struggling to make ends meet, when unexpectedly an opportunity appears at the door. The book would sit easily with the urban bleakness of Graham Greene and Patrick Hamilton. The writing is perhaps a little functional, but in the main it carries you forward briskly, has some powerful moments and a perfectly judged ending.
Looking wider the book has much in common with Poe or Ballard where it is the psychology of the participants that is where the action is. This book stands up well today and remains a memorable read.
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