Tag Archives: The Fall

Criminal Classics – Paul D. Brazill

Paul D. Brazill is the Spinetingler nominated author of 13 Shots of Noir, a dark and gritty collection of short fiction.  His blog You Would Say That is a den of unparalleled criminality.

Here’s Paul on Albert Camus’ The Fall…


I have no friends, I only have accomplices now. On the other hand, my accomplices are more numerous than my friends: they are the human race.’

Jean-Baptiste Clamence, a former big shot Parisian lawyer, and self-proclaimed ‘judge-penitent’, sits in Mexico City, a smoky, pokey bar in the murky depths of Amsterdam’s red-light district. And he tells a fellow Frenchman about the time when, given the chance to save a young woman’s life, he did nothing. And his subsequent fall from grace.

Camus’ The Fall is a stylishly written series of monologues about the desensitising nature of modern life, guilt, ‘the fundamental duplicity of the human being’, responsibility and more. And it’s a right riveting read, it really is. The intimacy of Clamence’s barfly confession drags you along as we hear how, like a true noir protagonist, his life spirals further down from Parisian high life to Amsterdam’s fog and neon soaked, underbelly.

The Fall was Camus last work of fiction, published in 1956, four years before he died. At 146 pages is a short, bitter and hard-hitting espresso that will give more than a few jolts during a sleepless night.

Bang, bang The mighty Fall!


– Paul D. Brazill


The Criminal Classics series was prompted by a post which originally appeared at Crime Fiction Lover.


Criminal Classics – Claire McGowan


Claire McGowan is the director of The Crime Writers Association and her rather excellent debut novel The Fall is out now from Headline.

Claire’s Criminal Classic is du Maurier’s Rebecca…




‘Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again’.

One piece of writing ‘advice’ that we often hear is not to start your book with a dream. Yet Daphne du Maurier proved it wrong with this mesmerising opening to Rebecca, her most famous novel. The dream shows us a decaying, destroyed house, before taking us back several years, to when the narrator was an impoverished companion to a rich old lady in the south of France. Swept into a whirlwind marriage with rich and mysterious Max de Winter, she’s soon mistress of Manderley. But she can never escape the shadow of Rebecca – Max’s dead first wife.

It’s difficult to put your finger on what makes Rebecca so special. Like all the great pioneering novels, you feel you might have heard the story before. Along with Jane Eyre, Rebecca is one of the cornerstones of the female psychological thriller. The language is beautiful, painting a picture of the mist-shrouded Cornish landscape. Then there’s the tension when the past comes to light, and the gripping climax of the court case. There’s the brilliant characterisation, often cruelly funny, and terrifyingly vivid in the case of Mrs Danvers, the deranged housekeeper. There’s the intense sympathy we feel for the narrator. We share her misery and embarrassment as she fails to live up to the dead first wife, and we learn the shocking truth at the same time she does. And the stroke of brilliance that means we never know her name. How clever to have a teasing, unsolved mystery, at the very heart of a book that’s as impenetrable as the sea-mists it conjures up.

– Claire McGowan


The Criminal Classics series was prompted by a post which originally appeared at Crime Fiction Lover.