Graham Greene's chilling exposé of violence and gang warfare in the pre-war underworld is a classic of its kind.
Pinkie, the teenage gangster, is devoid of compassion or human feeling, despising weakness of the spirit or of the flesh. Responsible for the razor slashes that killed Kite and also for the death of Hale, he is the embodiment of calculated evil. As a Catholic, however, he is convinced that his retribution does not lie in human hands.
He is therefore not prepared for Ida Arnold, Hale's avenging angel. Ida, whose allegiance is with life, the here and now, has her own ideas about the circumstances surrounding Hale's death. For the sheer joy of it she takes up the challenge of bringing the infernal Pinkie to an earthly kind of justice.
"I read Brighton Rock when I was about thirteen. One of the first lessons I took from it was that a serious novel could be an exciting novel - that the novel of adventure could also be the novel of ideas/"
"Graham Greene had wit and grace and character and story and a transcendent universal compassion that places him for all time in the ranks of world literature."
John Le Carre
"A superb storyteller with a gift for provoking controversy."
New York Times