THE TEMPTER by Anthony Bloomfield


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In England, this ritualistic and transcendental parable of evil has had an exciting press and occasioned comparisons, perhaps to be questioned, with Graham Greene. In its theme, and superficial use of thriller material as a mask, it is almost closer to Duerrenmatt. Overtly, the tempter is Samson, a bookseller, who conducts a pornographic studio behind the locked doors of his shop. A man of infallible intuition, he is also a satanic, messianic figure. Bateman, a policeman assigned to the case (and later relieved of his duty), falls in love with one of Samson's newest recruits, and he too becomes one of the ""nightwalkers"". The death of another of their members only proves what Samson has always known, that they are all indivisible and responsible in the ""brotherhood of guilt"". Further premonitions of exposure, disaster and disgrace do not dissolve their loyalty to Samson or each other, and by the close-once again- the duality of good and evil has been established. All in all, it is quite a showcase for the saturnine and the sinister.

Pub Date: Jan. 8th, 1961
Publisher: Scribner