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By Georges Bernanos
A Crime takes up the thread of Bernanos’s novel A Bad Dream, as the village of Mégère and its new parish priest contend with murder. The ostensibly tranquil state of the French countryside is shattered with the discovery of two corpses: Madame Beauchamp, the victim of A Bad Dream, and a mysterious stranger. As the collaborative force of police and priest find themselves at an investigative impasse, Bernanos draws the reader deep into the whirlpool that crime creates, one “which invincibly attracts to its center the innocent and the guilty.” In those enigmatic, forbidding depths, Bernanos reveals the spiritual destruction which preceded the murders and the shocking identity of their perpetrator.
Imbued with the requisite murder-mystery atmosphere of unsettling suspicion and sudden violence, A Crime is a reckoning with good and evil which only the spiritual genius of Bernanos could devise.
Georges Bernanos (1888–1948) was a French author and critic, and winner of the Grand Prix du roman de l’Académie française in 1936 (for his novel A Diary of a Country Priest). A devout Roman Catholic, Bernanos wrote numerous novels, stories, and essays on the nature of faith, society, and suffering.