When a French professor visiting the quiet Dutch coastal town of Delfzjil is accused of murder, Maigret is sent to investigate. The community seem happy to blame an unknown outsider, but there are people much closer to home who seem to know much more than they're letting on: Beetje, the dissatisfied daughter of a local farmer; Any van Elst, sister-in-law of the deceased; and, of course, a notorious local crook.
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.
"Compelling, remorseless, brilliant" (John Gray)
"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" (Guardian"A supreme writer... unforgettable vividness" (Independent)
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Maigret ruffles some Dutch feathers
take a train journey through the North of The Netherlands and listen to the book whilst gazing out of the window. Enjoyable and relaxing...
Maigret himself. Although Simenon is a master at making his characters come alive with the minimum of words, it is the main man himself that is developed best throughout the series, including this one.
Different voices for different people. Small note of criticism, - Gareth Armstrong can be forgiven for not speaking Dutch, but I would have thought the production team and the narrator would have verified how to pronounce the Dutch words spoken here and there in the book. I do speak Dutch and spend quite a while figuring out what he was on about.
It is not the kind of book really to be "moved" by.
As usual with Simenon, in my opinion, the "detective element" is the authors device to tell the story of a human drama in a close-knit community, and that seeking justice is not always what everybody wants.
- Monsieur Ghost
First Simenon, but DEFINITELY not the last.