Books: Mystery-Plus

THE PLEDGE (183 pp.)—Friedrich Duerrenmatt—Knopf ($3).

This novel has most of the elements of a fine murder mystery, but is written far better than most and leaves the reader with a wry, ironic aftertaste. Swiss Author Duerrenmatt showed Broadway, in The Visit, how an existentialist allegory of human greed and corruption can be made into exciting theater, especially if Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne are on hand (TIME, May 19). The Pledge uses a grisly crime to show how a man's stubborn faith can be defeated by a combination of senseless accident and faithlessness on the part of his fellows.

When Gritli Moser,...

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