Having read this book I feel some mixed emotions, two being relief and defeat. For years I've avoiding reading Brighton Rock by Graham Greene. It was a subtle act of rebellion, as my dad is a huge Greene fan, Brighton Rock in particular. For most my life I knew, as well as Hale did, that before he had been in Brighton three hours, that they meant to murder him. Don't worry, that isn't a spoiler, it's the first line. But, finally, I've read it.
And what did I think? I was good. First, because it was one of those dot dot dot endings I liked. It was one of those 'what did he mean by that?' endings. It is a brilliant ending, and I'm going to share it with you because it gives little away: "She walked rapidly in the thin June sunlight towards the worst horror of all." When you thought it wasn't going to get any worse, when you thought it was all over, Greene, at the very last moment, makes you realise you were very much wrong. What was that worst horror of all? My theory was that it was a gramophone record.
There was a really strong sense of different moralities, though most of the characters had abandoned them long ago. There was the dubious and subjective Right and Wrong of Ida Arnold and the Good and Evil (mostly evil) of the Romans (Catholics).
If you don't want a lesson on human depravity, read it just because it is a good thriller.