THE MINISTRY OF FEAR
Less bizarre than Brighton Rock or Thy Labyrinthine Ways, this is a return to the straight mystery novel which in Greene's hands is always something more. Psychologically provocative, atmospherically adept, it is the story of Arthur Rowe who by chance becomes the victim of a group of Nazi agents, operating and gaining power through fear. Strange occurrences, the cake at the fair which makes him the butt of murder, a seance where another man is killed in his stead, a bombing and subsequent amnesia which lands him in a private nursing home; strange people, the private detective who disappears, a fortune teller, the Hilfes -- refugee brother and sister, and an enigmatic psychiatrist. Finally, in coordination with the Yard, the webbing of fortuitous events and individuals becomes clear -- and Rowe is released from a past and private guilt, the killing of his wife. Ingenious intrigue, handled with fastidious finish.