Brighton Rock

Brighton Rock is a novel by Graham Green, which was first published in 1938. It is a murder thriller set in 1930s in Brighton. The author wrote the screenplay for the film in 1947 directed by John Boulting. In 2010 was made film under the same title.


Fred Hale, a newspaper employee, is murdered in mysterious circumstances by Pinkie, the recently appointed leader of a Brighton protection racket. Ida Arnold, who briefly got to know Fred while visiting Brighton for the day, is suspicious when the cause of death is recorded as ‘natural causes’, and she begins her own investigation into what happened. She meets Rose, a Catholic waitress from a poor family who is being courted by Pinkie. Rose is a potential witness to the murder: she has come to realise that Fred Hale did not come into Snow’s, the café where she works, on the day he was killed; that it was in fact one of Pinkie’s henchmen, Spicer, posing as Hale. But desperate to escape her situation by any means necessary, Rose refuses to believe that Pinkie’s interest in her stems purely from his desire to silence a potential witness to his crime.

Spicer decides to retire from the gang and asks Pinkie for a pay off. Afraid that he might ‘squeal’, Pinkie arranges for another, considerably more powerful Brighton gang, Colleoni’s mob, to kill Spicer at the race course; but Pinkie is also attacked. Spicer manages to escape, and so Pinkie pushes him over the banister at their lodgings. His solicitor Prewitt witnesses this, and Pinkie later visits him at home to offer him a sum of money and suggest he leave the country.

Pinkie is physically repulsed by Rose. But he knows that a wife cannot be forced to give evidence against her husband and, panicked by the increasing threat he feels from Ida, he asks Rose to marry him. As she is under age, the marriage has to take place in a registry office; both man and wife are painfully aware that, as Catholics, they are committing ‘mortal sin’.

Cubitt, another member of the gang, loses faith in Pinkie’s leadership. He attempts to join Colleoni’s mob but is rejected. While offering him consolation, Ida finds out that Pinkie and Rose are married. She visits Rose at Pinkie’s lodgings and tells her that he is a murderer. Rose responds that she knows everything Pinkie has done and she doesn’t care. When Pinkie finds out about Ida’s visit, he immediately suspects Rose of betraying him. He decides that the only way to ensure her silence is to persuade her to enter into a suicide pact, although he does not intend to go through with his side of the bargain.

When Dallow, the third member of the gang, learns that Prewitt has been arrested and that Pinkie has driven Rose up to the cliffs, he sets off in pursuit with Ida. Pinkie leads Rose onto the clifftop and almost succeeds in persuading her to shoot herself, but they are interrupted by Dallow and Ida. During a fight with Dallow, Pinkie accidentally spills his bottle of sulfuric acid – ‘vitriol’ – on his own face. Blinded and in agony he staggers over the cliff edge.

In the final chapter, Rose goes to see a priest and confesses that she thinks she may be pregnant with Pinkie’s child.

Previous book examples:

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I started my research in internet about Brighton Rock novel reading reviews, comments and watched film Brighton Rock from 2010. With other students we discussed different versions of films from 1947, 2010 and compare with book.  After my research I had idea how my book cover would look like. I planned to go to Birling Gap and Seven Sisters cliffs, take couple of shots in Brighton and go to exhibitions in one day. I searched routes from Brighton to Birling Gap to know where exactly go and printed timetable of busses. But the day trip come and everything changed. The weather was awful, it rained all day. I didn’t go to places I wanted and was staying close the group. I took couple shots of Brighton Pier but I wasn’t happy with that, because my lens was in raindrops. Even when I covered with plastic bag it didn’t help. From pictures in Brighton I used only one in spine of the book.

The half term came and I didn’t have photos for book cover. My children had also half term and I couldn’t go anywhere by myself. Because I still had my first idea in my mind, I decided to do family trip to Birling Gap and take pictures for my book cover. I phoned my friend to go with me and model, but she had to work and couldn’t go. I had to change mind and use only my husband to model for me. I printed some crime book covers to inspire me and get new alternative idea of what kind of pictures I can take. Day of trip was great. The weather was sunny and place beautiful. I took few great shot with I was happy and sure I can use for book cover.

For front cover I took picture of man pointing at Pier (which I used in spine). The stones background represents main character – Pinkie. In spine I placed Brighton Pier- the place of murders, and back cover show Pinkie and cliffs in background when final scene was happened.

This project was very challenging for me, especially when my first idea didn’t work and I had to get completely new in such as short period.

Book Cover

I used Photoshop to create book cover, using formats and ratio designed for book cover and different layers for each part of the cover. Picture for front cover I adjusted in ACR using basic panel.  I used eye dropper to select background from the tone of back cover and change layers to luminosity.  For title I used Trajan Pro font and change layers to exclusion. Back text I searched in internet. I found from one of the comments a paragraph of the text from book which I think is great to intrigue the reader. I also search information about the writer and placed at the back of the cover. The logo and bar code I downloaded from internet.

I am very satisfied from result I achieved. It was worth to spending few hours to design book cover and presented to viewers.

This entry was published on December 11, 2014 at 2:56 am. It’s filed under Location and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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