The Pledge, Friedrich DürrenmattRead about another entry on the list.
The body of this novel takes the form of a story narrated by a retired detective to an author of crime fiction. The detective’s goal is to demonstrate how far-fetched most crime novels are. Setting aside the meta-commentary on the genre, the story itself is a compelling account of a detective whose obsession with a case leads him into increasingly murky moral terrain. The spare, straightforward prose contrasts nicely with the narrator’s spiraling mental state (the Joel Agee translation is excellent).