The terrifying depiction of man's awe of the Church, alongside the ability to portray human motives and depths of suffering, make The Heart of the Matter one of Greene's most enduring and tragic novels. Scobie, a police officer serving in a war-torn West African colony, is a good man immune to bribery. Yet people are wary of him, disturbed by his scrupulous honesty. When he falls in love, however, Scobie is forced into a betrayal of everything that he has ever believed in, with shattering results, and his struggle to maintain the happiness of two women destroys him. Greene's anguished story of personal and spiritual confusion was made into a film, with Trevor Howard in perhaps his finest performance, playing the tormented Scobie.
'The ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man's consciousness and anxiety'
William Golding, Independent