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French Noir Thriller Released in English

The Wicked Go to Hell

By Frederic Dard

Pushkin Vertigo

Mystery & Thrillers, Psychological

Pub Date: 20 September 2016


Good and evil are impossible to distinguish in this engrossing noir thriller translated from the French. A cop and a spy share a prison cell, but which is which, and what happens when the two escape together. To what extent does duty supersede conscience, and what is the nature of loyalty. Is it only labels that separate one man from another? Dard captures the reader with his writing, immediately making them question their expectations. There is considerable violence, which adds to the moral ambiguity.

This isn't a novel that is not easy to "like". The Wicked Go to Hell is powerful, leaving the reader with an almost painful reminder that life exists in shades of grey, rather than comforting black and white. Is it a well written novel - yes. Will it linger in memory -yes. But not every reader will be comfortable with the content or the resolution which is very strongly "noir".


I received a copy of The Wicked Go to Hell from Pushkin Vertigo in exchange for an honest review.



A taut psychological prison-thriller from Frédéric Dard, one of France's most popular post-war authors

A cop receives a mission - to win the confidence of an enemy spy, currently in prison, and so to expose destroy his spy ring. What better way to allay his suspicions than for the policeman to enter the prison himself, posing as a criminal? So, Frank and Hal end up sharing a cell, but who is the spy and who is the cop? And who will win their claustrophobic game of cat and mouse? Memorably filmed by Robert Hossein in 1955, this tense and brilliantly original thriller is one of Dard's most powerful.

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