Revenge and murder are the main ingredients of a murder mystery. But Camus' "The Stranger" is an unlikely fit for the mystery genre. A known atheist and existentialist, Camus' novel brings us into the inner workings of someone who walks a thin line between sanity and displaying the qualities of a paid assassin.

At Mersault's trial for murder, the accused shows indifference and apathy regarding the crime he committed. Witnesses are brought forward to testify how lacking in emotion Mersault was at the wake of his mother. He seems to be on trial equally for this unemotional display as he is for murder. A man who shows no sadness over the death of a loved one feels no remorse for killing a stranger and can do so without regret. They also found that he shot the man three times and then hesitated before shooting him again. Mersault is without any feelings of guilt and meant to kill the man.

A most unusual novel and one that I believe I could read again and again, finding more and more depth into the heart and soul of a most complex protagonist.

I rate "The Stranger" 4 out of 5 stars.

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