The Drood Inquiry

Crime and Punishment

Not a direct influence, but a parallel case, Crime and Punishment has been proposed as a truer case study by which to understand Dickens’s intentions for Edwin Drood. It was Edmund Wilson who first suggested it when he argued that the story was not a detective story, and better compared to Dostoevsky’s psychological tale, in which the interest lies not in determining the guilt of the killer Raskolnikov, which is made plain from the start, but rather in the intense fascination of watching the murderer’s progress after the crime. In The D Case, Fruttero and Lucentini suggested that supporters of this idea be termed “Porfirians” after the story’s detective, Porfiry Petrovich.