This masterpiece of psychological realism is often considered
Graham Greene's best novel, a classic of its kind. It is a
fascinating study of evil, sin, and the "appalling strangeness of
the mercy of God."
Set in Brighton, England, among the criminal rabble, this book
depicts the tragic career of a seventeen-year-old boy named Pinkie
whose primary ambition is to lead a gang to rival that of the
wealthy and established Colleoni. His calamitous childhood and
repressed sexuality combine to create a force of evil that is both
fascinating and repellent. As a Catholic, he is convinced that his
retribution does not lie in human hands and is therefore not
prepared for Ida Arnold, Hale's avenging angel who takes up the
challenge of bringing justice to the contemptible Pinkie.