Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS Not Filthy Enough

Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS Not Filthy Enough

Article excerpt

The Pursued (Pengu in, £12.99) i s a lost cr ime th r i l ler by C . S. Forester, the author of the Hornblower novels. It was written in 1935, rediscovered in 2003 and i s now publ i shed for the first t ime.

Marjorie, a suburban wife and mother, comes home a f ter a 'jaunt ' in 'town' to find her sister dead in the kitchen on page four It is said to be su icide, but we have doubts.

Towards the end of the book, Forester summa r i ses the act ion :

'It wa s a f i lthy bu siness , a ta le of lust and murder and revenge, un redeemed by any o f the nobler qualities of mankind.' Not a bad precis, though anyone who reads The Pursued hoping to have their jaded 21st-century palate tickled is likely to be disappointed.

Vei l s aplenty a re d rawn over the actua l bu siness o f lu st , and what mu rder there i s in the book i s accomplished with a thud offstage. …

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