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Maigret and Monsieur Charles by Georges…

Maigret and Monsieur Charles (1972)

by Georges Simenon

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I so enjoyed my first experience of the Maigret series of French detective novels that I quickly moved on to a second, despite a stack (physical and virtual) of other books in various media waiting for me to return to them. Having been told that I could essentially read these books -- of which there are 75 -- in any order, I chose this one almost at random. The extent to which there was any logic involved in the selection, I suppose the fact that it was available played a role in the decision, as did the fact that since the title included another adult (this Mr. Charles), I presumed that the story would differ distinctively from the previous volume I'd read, Maigret Goes to School, which had prominent roles for children.

It turns out that I have now read the last book in the series. I'll assume until convinced otherwise that the decision Maigret makes at the opening of the book is a significant one that would have carried more weight had I read more than one other book about him previously. Otherwise, this book starts and ends like any other book in such a series, and so, well, I guess this wasn't too much of a continuity banana slip on my part.

The book tells the story of a drunk society woman whose philandering husband, an accomplished professional, goes missing. We spend much of the book not knowing if he's alive or dead, and slowly learning about his past, and that of his psychologically remote wife. As with the previous book, I was most impressed by just how much people can drink and still get their work done, a fact set in contrast by a prominent character who drinks even more than all the other characters combined.
  Disquiet | Mar 30, 2013 |
A nice, lateish, Maigret, which (as they so often do) turns out to be all about Maigret slowly attempting to work out what is going on in the mind of a middle-aged woman. In this case the lady has reported her husband missing: the question is whether he has been murdered or just gone off with a night-club hostess. There's a subplot about Maigret turning down a promotion, but that doesn't really go anywhere; all the interest is in the interaction between Maigret and Mme Sabin-Levesque. ( )
  thorold | Jan 8, 2010 |
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Maigret’n toimistoon tulee vieras: hermostunut, hienosti pukeutunut madame Sabin-Levesque, tunnetun parisilaisen lakimiehen puoliso. Hän on huolissaan miehensä katoamisesta. Tämä on ennekin ollut ilmoittamatta muutamia päiviä poissa kotoa, mutta ei koskaan näin pitkään.
Sabin-Levesque löydetään kuolleen joesta.
Kun Maigret alkaa tutkia tilannetta ja avioparin menneisyyttä, paljastuu että kumpikin puolisoista on elänyt täysin omaa elämäänsä. Ja kertoessaan Sabin-Levesquen perheen elämään liittyvistä ihmiskohtaloista Simeon on kirjailija parhaimmillaan, hänen ihmiskuvauksensa terävimmillään.
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