Author(s): Friedrich Durrenmatt
When Zurich multimillionaire and local politician Isaak Kohler shoots a professor to death in broad daylight for no apparent reason, he cheerfully accepts his 20-year prison sentence. Yet, despite the fact that there were witnesses aplenty, he enlists Spat, a down-and-out lawyer, to investigate the crime, ordering him to pretend that someone else, now at large, committed it. Through luck and happenstance, the greenhorn attorney pulls off the impossible: an acquittal. In the process, Spat falls in love with Kohler's daughter Helene, whom he suspects is an accomplice. He also meets a femme fatale whose auto racer boyfriend beats her, a dwarfish heiress surrounded by muscled bald bodyguards and sundry small-time crooks. Did Kohler shoot the professor as an abstract, fiendish mental game, or was Swiss pistol expert Benno the real culprit, as the newspapers rashly proclaim? The Execution of Justice is a dark, wicked satire on the legal system and a disturbing, if ambivalent, allegory on guilt, justice, violence and morality.
Friedrich Durrenmatt (1921-1990) was a Swiss author and dramatist, most famous for his plays The Visit and The Physicists, which earned him a reputation as one of the greatest playwrights in the German language. He also wrote four highly regarded crime novels: The Pledge, The Judge and His Hangman, Suspicion and The Execution of Justice, all of which will be published by Pushkin Vertigo.