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A Man's Head: Inspector Maigret #9 Paperback – 3 Jul 2014
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Praise for Georges Simenon:"One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories." --The Guardian "These Maigret books are as timeless as Paris itself." --The Washington Post "Maigret ranks with Holmes and Poirot in the pantheon of fictional detective immortals." --People "I love reading Simenon. He makes me think of Chekhov." --William Faulkner "The greatest of all, the most genuine novelist we have had in literature." --André Gide "A supreme writer . . . Unforgettable vividness." --The Independent (London) "Superb . . . The most addictive of writers . . . A unique teller of tales." --The Observer (London) "Compelling, remorseless, brilliant." --John Gray "A truly wonderful writer . . . Marvelously readable--lucid, simple, absolutely in tune with the world he creates." --Muriel Spark "A novelist who entered his fictional world as if he were a part of it." --Peter Ackroyd "Extraordinary masterpieces of the twentieth century." --John Banville
About the Author
Georges Simenon was born in Liège, Belgium, in 1903. He is best know in Britain as the author of the Maigret novels and 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.
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This is an early Maigret novel; wonderfully capturing the inspector's brooding presence and demonstrating his bloodhound qualities of seeking out his man and establishing justice.
Detective Chief Inspector Maigret is unhappy about a recent double murder which he didn't oversee after making an arrest. Subsequently there was trial and the convicted murdered abandoned by even his family waits on the Santé prison's High Surveillance wing for execution.
He comes up with a scheme to flush out the real killer but in the process he places his own reputation and career on the line. The plan is to allow the prisoner to think his 'accomplice' has arranged for his jail break and to follow him to see where he goes once he is free to wander around Paris.
Nothing goes to plan and never has Maigret had more to lose as he has given himself just ten days to save his name and job. It becomes a war of nerves and a challenge of minds as Maigret's gamble to save a man's life is played out. However, although he becomes convinced the fall guy was framed the murder appears to have been the perfect crime.
This has all the drama of Pietr the Latvian. This is Maigret at his very best seemingly married to his job, managing his detective team when he can't be everywhere and accepting their limitations. He relies on his creative investigatory skills to their maximum but has he come up against his nemesis.
This is classic Maigret and every word in this engaging books a joy to read.
I thank Penguin once again for re-releasing the complete series Maigret novels in modern translations and I would encourage all crime fiction lovers to return to these classical stories or even find them for the first time.
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