The Disappearance of Odile was first published in 1971 as La Disparation d'Odile: it was translated into English by Lyn Moir. It is an unusual book for Simenon. He tries to get into the mind of a young girl in her 20s who is contemplating suicide, and shows her as regaining her love of life through an attraction for a young man who saves her life. If that sounds like magazine fiction of a sentimental variety, well, it is. Simenon is not too convincing in giving the state of mind of Odile, nor her change of attitude. The story takes on a poignant tone if you know that five years after the book's publication Simenon's daughter Marie-Jo would attempt suicide, and two years after that, succeed. However the book may have drawn on elements from Simenon's family life, as a novel, and understandable so, it is pretty much a failure. Simenon cannot effectively imagine Odile's despair, as he does so brilliantly so often in other works. The book begins well. Bob, Odile's brother, sets off to Paris to look for his sister when she disappears from her home in Lausanne (she has been ignored by her father, who is too busy prolifically producing popular history: more autobiographical references here). The search narrative has the compulsive quality of a detective story. However, half way through the tale Simenon switches point of view, and Odile's depiction I found facile, and sentimental, and so too her change of attitude. The book is of interest more as autobiography for those interested in Simenon's life than as a finished work of fiction.