A Spot of Blackmail

Douglas Johnson

  • J’Accuse by Graham Greene
    Bodley Head, 69 pp, £1.95, May 1982, ISBN 0 370 30930 8

‘Hale knew, after he had been in Brighton for three hours, that they meant to murder him.’ The opening sentence of Graham Greene’s most famous novel runs, in menacing innuendo, through his pamphlet J’Accuse. He denounces the world of crime, injustice and corruption which constitutes ‘the dark side of Nice’, and he has let us know that, as he lives in the neighbourhood, at Antibes, he himself is now threatened by those whom he accuses. There have been mysterious phone-calls and an inexplicable burglary: he is said to carry a canister of gas with him in order to repel would-be assailants.

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