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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 23 June 2016
As a long-time Maigret fan I found this book very disappointing. It's a good story, but it isn't truly a Maigret story, Maigret is hardly in the first half as an effective character, he's just an observer, and then he behaves in a quite atypical fashion, for example tampering with the evidence which I'm sure he would never get away with, especially as it takes place in Belgium. If you're new to Maigret I couldn't recommend this title as your first read, although as I said it is a good story and worth reading from that point of view.
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on 16 February 2016
Simenon created his hero Maigret in 1931 and wrote twelve books about him in that year. During long walks he imagined a crime, perpetrator and victim, their backgrounds, twists and turns and locations, then pounded his typewriter furiously for a week or so, and violà, another title. This was his unique skill and talent. Does such a high production impact on quality? Yes, of course it does.
Here, Simenon drew on his rich experience as a young journalist in the Belgian industrial town of Liège, where he grew up and whose nightlife, class differences and old boys’ networks he knew well. Good background is not enough. A good read also needs authentic characters and a plausible plot. Here, the characters are more or less OK, but the plot and outcome are not.
I much prefer Simenon’s psychological novels. Find Maigret a hard act to follow as a police investigator. In the few Maigret novels I have read, nature stops the moment his massive physique turns up at a crime scene. His investigations are messy and the solutions Houdini acts. Here, a weird espionage angle is inserted rather late in the day.
Simenon may have had doubts about this book, because he added a chapter to inform readers about the fate of some of the main characters. He also wrote better Maigret novels than this one, even in 1931 and went on to compose another 100+. Found Maigret fantastic in films and TV-series, but less so as a book character.
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on 6 October 2014
The star of this series Chief Inspector Maigret is a brooding presence in this book but doesn't speak until about page 84. A clever twist from Simenon who turns the plot on its head and solves it back to front.
Reminiscent of earlier stories; here Maigret finds clarity of thought by removing himself from the problem. In the process his methods out shine the local police and he solves two cases for the price of one.
He is a detective that doesn't judge but through observation and clever questioning seeks out justice and solutions to criminal behaviour.
He resolves to fight crime but never hates the criminal.
Therefore by re-writing the crime novel as in this account the author presents his creation in a new way; not formulaic stories but insights into early police work where Maigret can do his thing.
I commend this series to you and the efforts of Penguin to re-publish all these books with modern translations.
10 books in some 60 plus to go.
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on 14 September 2014
An early Maigret, beautifully written but not his best.
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on 7 November 2014
good product - well packaged
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on 11 March 2015
Brilliant good read
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on 26 March 2015
very p;leased
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on 22 August 2014
Not one of Simenon's best as the plot is far from credible with Maigret making an implausible appearance to solve the case.
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on 23 September 2014
Thats what I did!!!!!
Last year and now this year x an easy read x usual suspects x love Maigret
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on 7 June 2015
Loved it.
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