The Executioner Weeps (Pushkin Vertigo)

The Executioner Weeps (Pushkin Vertigo)

Posted by jack_miller | Published 7 months ago



With 9 ratings

By: Frédéric Dard and David Coward

Purchased At: $9

Winner of the 1957 Grand Prix de Littérature Policière: A macabre thriller about the dangerous pitfalls of love
 
It was fate that led her to step out in front of the car. A quiet mountain road. A crushed violin. And a beautiful woman lying motionless in the ditch.
 
Carrying her back to his lodging on a beach near Barcelona, Daniel discovers that the woman is still alive but that she remembers nothing—not even her own name. And soon he has fallen for her mysterious allure. She is a blank canvas, a perfect muse, and his alone. But when Daniel travels to France in search of her past, he slips into a tangled vortex of lies, depravity, and murder.
 
Written by one of the masters of French noir, The Executioner Weeps won the 1957 Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, France's most prestigious literary award for crime fiction writers.
Daniel is driving along enjoying the beauty of Spain when suddenly his life changes: a beautiful young woman plunges into the road in front of him and he hits her with his car. He chooses to do the right thing and tries to help her. Not trusting the Spanish police to show up in a timely manner, he puts the unconscious woman in his car and takes her back to his modest hotel where, he hopes, the Spanish proprietor can explain the situation to the Spanish police better than he could hope to do in his native French.

Daniel quickly falls in love with the mysterious woman despite the fact that she can't remember anything, not even her own name. Will his efforts to get her a passport tie them together as he hopes, or will it be the loose end that unravels everything as he struggles to navigate problem after problem?

I am liking this author more and more. I can definitely see why this novel won a prestigious literary prize in 1957. Dard's novels are slim and quick to read and yet they seem to unfold larger and larger with each page, almost like pop-up books but with words only. Try one if you are a noir fan!

- hanna_nguyen

This is another clever story with an original plot, told in a succinct style, in this English translation of a French novel by Frederic Dard, one of the most prolific crime novelists in history. A quick and fun read.

- barrett_king

Frédéric Dard was an extraordinarily popular and prolific French writer of thrillers who got his start trying to imitate hard-boiled authors. I think this was his attempt to channel Ross Macdonald, in fact the whole book could have sprung from Macdonald's, "You can't get away from the past. It's built into one's life. You can't wall it off or evade it or undo it. It's inescapably and inevitably there, like a deformed child in a secret room of one's house." That's from the 1953 

- braylen_lewis

An unusual beginning but a complicated one. A woman with amnesia on a road in Barcelona. She is of French origin and the artist must try to complete her past if he himself is to find some kind of happiness with her. He has fallen in love and wants to know what her past is like.

The past unravels to enfold Daniel into a nightmare. Is he willing to go the extra mile into a very dark place for the sake of his love for Marianne. A quite simple love story overshadowed by dark mysteries,

Sent to me by Netgalley for an honest review, courtesy of Pus

- davion_cox

If you like crime thrillers you'll like this.

- mateo_adams

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