Maigret: The Flemish House

In which the killer gets away with it. Or sort of. They suffer, but not from guilt. One symptom: premature aging. “She must have been twenty-seven, but she looked more like thirty, because her complexion no longer had the same freshness, and her features had faded.” Ouch. I guess turning thirty does that to you. So much worse than being twenty-seven. Especially in France.

One of Simenon’s more biting psychological studies. The family in thrall to a sickly loser, who is, perforce, the man of the house. “A case of collective suggestion” or what we might call morbid codependency. A domestic tragedy, but one that curiously loses sight of the victim. Maigret is sympathetic, but also put out by people he views almost as foreigners and a town he finds inclement and ugly. What time is the next train for Paris?

Maigret index

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