It was indeed a photo, a picture of a woman. But the face was completely hidden, scribbled all over in red ink. Someone had tried to obliterate the head, someone very angry. The pen had bitten into the paper. There were so many criss-crossed lines that not a single square millimetre had been left visible. On the other hand, below the head, the torso had not been touched. A pair of large breasts. A light-coloured silk dress, very tight and very low cut.
Sailors don't talk much to other men, especially not to policemen. But after Captain Fallut's body is found floating near his trawler, they all mention the Evil Eye when they speak of the Ocean's voyage.
Georges Simenon was born in Liège, Belgium, in 1903. Best known in Britain as the author of the Maigret books, his prolific output of over 400 novels and short stories have made him a household name in continental Europe. He died in 1989 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he had lived for the latter part of his life.
David Coward is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Leeds, England, and an award- winning translator of numerous works from French.
©2014 Georges Simenon, David Coward (P)2014 Audible Studios
"Compelling, remorseless, brilliant." (John Gray)
"One of the greatest writers of the 20th century...Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories." (Guardian)
"A supreme writer...unforgettable vividness." (Independent)
Yes, in a few years time, when the finer details of the story have slipped my memory.
Not entirely suprised
Apart from Maigret himself of course, the brawling sailor, worried about that "wallet-business".
Yes, and I did.
In the series that is published so far ...its nr 8), this was the weakest story. Perhaps I should rephrase that. Weakest detective story. Simenon mostly uses the detective genre to tell little stories about human drama, and colours in the grey areas in the crimes committed. This book was very much a novella about how men can be, and were, driven to distraction by a Delilah figure. The "crime" element in the book felt a bit forced, and there most definitely was not an investigation as such. Maigret walks into the drama on his holidays, ferrets the story out of people, and then simply walks away again.
"One of Simenon's best"
This book contains some of the author's best-described characters. The pace is excellent. The moral ambiguities of life are captured well. And this is one of the few in the series in which Mme. Maigret plays a real role. I feel that the narrator has finally found his stride.
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