This volume offers bracing new translations of two precursors to the modern detective vel by Friedrich Durrenmatt, whose genre-bending mysteries recall the work of Alain Robbe-Grillet and anticipate the postmodern fictions of Paul Auster and other contemporary neo-ir velists. Both mysteries follow Inspector Barlach as he moves through worlds in which the distinction between crime and justice seems to have vanished. In The Judge and His Hangman, Barlach forgoes the arrest of a murderer in order to manipulate him into killing ather, more elusive criminal. And in Suspicion, Barlach pursues a former Nazi doctor by checking into his clinic with the hope of forcing him to reveal himself. The result is two thrillers that bring existential philosophy and the detective genre into dazzling convergence.
Friedrich Durrenmatt (1921 90) was a prolific Swiss dramatist, novelist, and essayist. His Selected Writings, in three volumes, is also published by the University of Chicago Press. Joel Agee has translated numerous German authors into English.