The Pursued, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Described as a 'riveting read' by Sarah Waters and acclaimed by crime writers such as Andrew Taylor, The Pursued is a dark, gripping 1930s psychological thriller by C.

S. Forester, the author of Hornblower. The story begins when Marjorie, a young woman, arrives home one summer evening and finds her sister, dead, with her head in the oven.

She looks peaceful, as if she is asleep. Their mother suspects, however, that Dot's death was far from natural - and that she knows who the killer is.

So, slowly and meticulously, she plots her terrible revenge.

C. S. Forester's 1935 thriller The Pursued, lost for decades, rewrote the traditions of crime fiction to create a dark, twisted portrayal of obsession and retribution.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780141198088



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Other than knowing it was set in 1930s Britain, I had little idea what this book would be like as a read. I chose it because of its title and its classification as a Penguin Modern Classic. I half expected it to be along the lines of the Thirty-nine Steps, it isn't. Marjorie is trapped in a stultifying marriage to a man who mistreats her. Had he chosen not to mistreat her sister even more cruelly, Marjorie is to type of character who would have waited for the course of time to free her from Ted.But this isn't a domestic tale of disappointed dreams. As the blurb describes it, The Pursued is a dark, twisted tale of murder, lust and retribution. Sex and murder drive this story, yet both are kept very firmly in the background. This is a character driven tale, not action driven.The story is told from the viewpoint of each of the protagonists. We move from the innermost thoughts of one character to the innermost thoughts of the next. This is a very clever storytelling device, allowing us to know what the characters think is going to happen next. The suspense comes from discovering whether events unfold as the characters believe, and what ramifications follow. This is a story of consequences, a slowly paced, yet page turning psychological drama, with the most unlikely conspirator. Definitely a modern classic.Nina Jon is the author of the newly released Magpie Murders, a series of short murder mysteries with a Cluedo-esque element.She is also the author of the Jane Hetherington's Adventures in Detection crime and mystery series, about private detective Jane Hetherington.

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