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We, the Accused

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Ernest Raymond was not generally regarded as a crime novelist, and 'We The Accused' is not a puzzle story of the traditional kind, but a realistic novel based on the Crippen case. Paul Presset, a nondescript schoolmaster, cannot resist an open opportunity to rid himself of his overbearing, nagging wife. This powerful and haunting novel traces the dawn of motive in his mind ...more
Paperback, 509 pages
Published March 31st 1983 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1935)
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I was given this, along with CS Forester’s early novel Payment Deferred, by Kate McCallum, author of checklists of mystery fiction, published by Copperfield Press. I’ve had my periods of reading vast amounts of the stuff, but not for years of late. Nonetheless, with such a well-informed recommendation, and the books handed to me, I was not going to say no!

Neither of these is a mystery. They are both early examples of sitting behind the shoulder of the murderer, following developments as he does.
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up.

I came across this book quite by chance listening to a YouTube vlog.

This is a very powerful moving story. The author did a great job of not taking sides and revealing the characters good and bad. I had tears in my eyes at the end.
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel follows the mundanely unhappy life of Paul Presset. When the possibility of love and happiness is offered to him, but there is always his complaining wife to prevent it being realised. And so, gradually, the idea of killing her grows in his mind. And the deed is done and the inevitable consequences result.

This is a beautifully understated novel. It could be presented as melodrama but it is much quieter and realistic. In particular, I loved the way that our sympathies lie with Presset,
Christopher Borum
Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best stories I've ever read. It's not really a mystery, because you know what happened and you follow Paul along as he plans and carries out his murder. It's really a psychological study of how someone can descend to a point where killing seems the best solution. The small bothers and little compromises pile together to create an unbearable situation. The rationalization of what is being contemplated at first seems absurd, but later perhaps even the reader can imagine taking t ...more
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gripping story of a mild-mannered man who overestimates his own intelligence and everyone's around him and tries to outsmart the police by killing his overbearing wife. All the characters are well-drawn; today the wife would probably be diagnosed as a depressive but she definitely makes you sort of root for Presset to get away with it.
Good setup, gripping manhunt - long, but definitely worth it.
Michael Spain
First discovered this book while working as, of all things, a prison officer. I enjoyed the way that the writer manages to make the story flow so convincingly that you hardly notice the decision to murder it feels so innocuous. I also enjoyed how easy it was to get inside the head of the main character Arthur Preset.
Jess Sturman-Coombs
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I would read this book again! I absolutely loved the story; dark, twisted and full of suspense. I couldn't put it down and would recommend it to anyone who likes to read about characters on the run and getting away with murder! ...more
Mary Narkiewicz
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I found this book in paperback format at a local laundromat. Couldn't put it down once I started it. I want to read it again.

Dense prose, well written , interesting, scary or rather, unsettling.
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern-fiction
Two or three years ago, I stumbled upon this book and simply could not put it down. Suffice it to say that due to the author's skill, the killer and his lover are made sympathetic. It was riveting. ...more
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Jack Heath
Synopsis: based on the Crippen case. A nondescript schoolmaster wants rid of his overbearing wife.
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Ernest Raymond (1888–1974) was a British novelist, best known for his first novel, Tell England (1922), set in World War I. His next biggest success was We, The Accused (1935), generally thought to be a reworking of the Hawley Harvey Crippen case, which was made into a BBC drama starring Ian Holm in 1980. He wrote over fifty novels. Raymond's autobiography was published in two volumes; the first, ...more

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