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The Pursued

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  135 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Marjorie had never seen a dead body until she got home one tranquil summer evening and found her sister Dot lying on the kitchen floor in a pretty dress, with her head in the oven. She looked peaceful, as if she was asleep. Their mother suspects, however, that Dot's death was far from natural.
Hardcover, 218 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Penguin Books
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Apr 21, 2014 Laura rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie, Carey
From BBC Radio 4 - Saturday Drama:
Most famous for his Hornblower series, C.S. Forester wrote three seminal psychological thrillers at the start of his career that took crime writing in a new direction, portraying ordinary, desperate people committing monstrous acts, and showing events spiralling terribly, chillingly, out of control.

The Pursued is a dark tale of retribution.
When Marjorie finds Dorothy, her pretty young sister, lying dead with her head in the oven the obvious assumption is suicide
Roger Pettit
Aug 10, 2012 Roger Pettit rated it really liked it
"The Pursued" is one of three crime novels written by C.S. Forester, who is much more famous for his seafaring tales featuring Horatio Hornblower (books which may well have inspired Patrick O'Brian to write his wonderful series of nautical novels set during the Napoleonic Wars). Unlike the other two thrillers - "Plain Murder" (which I have read and reviewed) and "Payment Deferred" - "The Pursued", which was written in 1935, was not published during Forester's lifetime. It seems that the ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it
In 1935, between writing his first and second Hornblower novels, C.S. Forester wrote a detective thriller that was never published and later turned up in an auction and was later published in 2011. Pay close attention to the last line for the final twist.
Nina Jon
Sep 17, 2013 Nina Jon rated it it was amazing
Other than knowing it was set in 1930s Britain, I had little idea what this book would be like as a read. I chose it because of its title and its classification as a Penguin Modern Classic. I half expected it to be along the lines of the Thirty-nine Steps, it isn't. Marjorie is trapped in a stultifying marriage to a man who mistreats her. Had he chosen not to mistreat her sister even more cruelly, Marjorie is to type of character who would have waited for the course of time to free her from Ted. ...more
Jan 15, 2012 Paul rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
Lovely design, great that it's been published but 14.99?

Come one Penguin, CS Forester doesn't need the money - he's been dead for 45 years.

Greedy fucks.


I loved the first half, less sure about the ending. It's good that it was found and published - CS is a great writer. Some typos that I guess are down to poor proofing but I would have been nice if Penguin had given some more info and history on this lost manuscript.
Mar 26, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-authors
the-pursuedC. S Forester isn’t a name I associate with crime fiction. I know him mainly in connection with naval and historical novels, in particular the Hornblower series. But it seemed at early in his career when he was struggling to make his name, he wrote a few crime novels that were darker than the usual fare presented to British readers in between the two world wars.

One of these was not discovered for seventy years but was published by Penguin Modern Classics in 2011 when they also reissue
Dec 27, 2011 Emmkay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reads, fiction, crime
C.S. Forester wrote The Pursued in the 1930s, but it was never published and the manuscript was eventually lost. Having at last been found, it was published by Penguin Classics in 2011, and it is really good. It's a noirish novel (think Patrick Hamilton, or Alfred Hitchcock) of murder and domestic drama in the suburbs. As the novel opens, Marjorie returns home one evening, expecting to find her unmarried sister, Dot, caring for her children. Instead, Dot is dead with her head in the oven. ...more
Ant Harrison
Sep 07, 2014 Ant Harrison rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Another cracking thriller from CS Forester, one of his 'lost' 1930s crime books that were only recently rediscovered. It's the story of Marjorie, 32-year mother of two and trapped in a loveless marriage to insensitive Ted. The book starts with Marjorie's discovery of her sister's apparent suicide and her growing suspicions that Ted has murdered her.

The minutiae of middle class suburban life in the mid-1930s is exceptionally well realised, and Forester once again shows what was, for mainstream fi
Mar 24, 2015 Neena rated it did not like it
I picked " The Pursued" by C S Forester expecting a quiet and pleasant, a very 'English' classic read. Well, it was utterly disappointing and pathetic book! The writing, no doubt was excellent. Although in sense of thoroughly developed psychological side of characters, the characterisation was strong but they were very unlikable and miserable (If you don't count children). Even mild, meek and likable Mrs. Clair came out cold and stupid toward the end. Ending was obvious and utterly ...more
David Lowther
Jun 30, 2015 David Lowther rated it liked it
Continuing my tour of thirties writers I quite enjoyed The Pursued. CS Forester is better known for the Hornblower books or adventure stories like The Gun (who can ever forget a puny Frank Sinatra lugging that gun around Peninsular War Spain in the film version The Pride and the Passion?) but this is a fairly straightforward domestic thriller set in the pre war London suburbs.

I didn't quite get a picture in my mind of the main characters and I found the whole thing slightly depressing but an ea
Zetta Kappa
Jul 19, 2015 Zetta Kappa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ήταν ΚΑΚΟ και δεν είχε λόγο ύπαρξης. Το βιβλίο ονομάζεται "Οι καταζητούμενες" και οι πρωταγωνίστριες δεν καταζητούνται παρά μόνο στις τελευταίες 70-80 σελίδες στις οποίες και εκτυλίσσονται ουσιαστικά όλα τα ενδιαφέροντα γεγονότα (μη φανταστείτε γενικά πολύ ενδιαφέροντα ωστόσο). Στις πρώτες 200+ σελίδες του βιβλίου διαβάζουμε ένα βασανιστικό τίποτα που περιγράφει τη ζωή της μέσης αγγλίδας του '30 (ίσως και του σήμερα...) η οποία όπως όλοι μπορούμε να φανταστούμε ΕΙΝΑΙ ΒΑΡΕΤΗ (του κερατά). Νιώθω ...more
Andrew Salmon
Oct 28, 2012 Andrew Salmon rated it it was amazing
A forgotten gem by one of the all-time greats! This is a fantastic book. Forester has been a favorite of mine for a long, long time and getting a chance to read one of his lost novels, written while he was at the height of his powers, was a true treat.

If you're a Forester fan, you want to read this book. If you love great mysteries, building to an unforgettable climax, then you want to read this book. If you like stories with heroes and heroines you can really root for, then you want to read thi
Kajol Marathe
Jun 26, 2013 Kajol Marathe rated it liked it
Great book, but the ending was disappointing and the inclusion of the character Millicent was a little too convenient in many places. Largely well written, at some parts the language was too cliched, and in terms of crime fiction wasn't anything spectacular or highly original. Lovely dark novel however, a good, quick read. The characters were very well-developed - would have loved a twist, however.
Wilde Sky
May 31, 2014 Wilde Sky rated it liked it
A woman’s body is discovered and her death is ruled suicide, but her mother suspects murder, thinks she knows who the killer is and plots revenge.

I enjoyed this tale of murder and vengeance, some of the writing felt dated but it was still an entertaining (and slightly unusual) read.
Mark Young
Oct 11, 2013 Mark Young rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Call off the search, if you will excuse the narrative pun, this is my favourite crime novel. Not so much a crime as a tragic horror story set in suburban London of the mid 1930s. It was written between the first and second of the author's famous Hornblower series apparently.
Feb 12, 2013 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Dark, gritty noir. Darker even than Patrick Hamilton! But yet it's not depressing or sinister. Well concieved plot and construction, an engaging read.
Alexandra Del toro
Great characters, amazing mystery that will make you finish it in a couple of days, although I thought it was a bit predictable.
Sep 24, 2014 Meghan rated it liked it
Delightfully noir crime story set in 1930s suburban London. As a bonus, the book has a great backstory—written in 1935 but unpublished until 2011.
Jun 08, 2013 Tessa rated it it was ok
I was a bit disappointed in this novel and skipped through it as it did not hold my attention. I have read do many thrillers a lot better than this one.
Jonkers Jonkers
Oct 02, 2015 Jonkers Jonkers rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book but was a little disappointed with the ending. It was easy to read and built up very well but the passionate love affair just seemed to peter out.
Mar 04, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, drama
Loved this story. A great portrayal of 1930's suburban life mixed with interesting and in-depth characters.
Annette Smith
Annette Smith rated it really liked it
May 05, 2014
David Lamerton
David Lamerton rated it really liked it
Oct 26, 2013
Nan Fitzgerald
Nan Fitzgerald rated it liked it
Jun 16, 2014
Simon Willis
Sep 09, 2013 Simon Willis rated it really liked it
A nice, taut little thriller, in which I really had little idea of how the plot would unfold...
Sally rated it really liked it
Sep 08, 2014
Anasua Saha
Anasua Saha rated it liked it
Dec 10, 2012
Suganya rated it liked it
Apr 08, 2016
William rated it really liked it
Jun 29, 2015
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Cecil Scott Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith, an English novelist who rose to fame with tales of adventure and military crusades. His most notable works were the 11-book Horatio Hornblower series, about naval warfare during the Napoleonic era, and The African Queen (1935; filmed in 1951 by John Huston). His novels A Ship of the Line and Flying Colours were jointly awarded t ...more
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