The case is open and shut. But when the incarcerated murderer hires a disreputable lawyer to investigate the possibility that it was someone else, the case inverts into a claustrophobic entanglement of red tape, sin and checkered pasts.
Durrenmatt often turns the detective genre on its head. Sometimes the crimes just don’t get solved.
The Judge and His Hangman could be devoured in a single sitting, its haunting contents continuing to unspool for days after the backcover folds over.
What really happens to a policeman who can’t solve his most important case? What becomes of a pillar of society whose foundations are crumbling?