Mai­gret in Court

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE - MYLES McWEENEY

Ge­orges Si­menon

Pen­guin, pa­per­back, 146 pages, €11.19

Bel­gian-born Ge­orges Si­menon, who died in 1989, was one of the most pro­lific au­thors of the last cen­tury. He wrote more than 200 books, in­clud­ing 75 nov­els fea­tur­ing French police In­spec­tor Jules Mai­gret, which spawned myr­iad tele­vi­sion se­ries all around the world. Five years ago Pen­guin Books com­mis­sioned new trans­la­tions of all the books, and Mai­gret in Court is num­ber 55 in the se­ries.

In this lean and spare tale Mai­gret, now 53 and fac­ing re­tire­ment in two years, is be­ing ques­tioned in court by a judge about an in­ves­ti­ga­tion he had un­der­taken into the brutal mur­der of a wo­man and a small child. But Mai­gret is not at all sure that the ac­cused, a mild-man­nered pic­ture-framer called Gas­ton Meu­rant, ac­tu­ally killed his aunt and the lit­tle girl and con­tin­ues to search for the truth. Si­menon, as al­ways, man­ages quite bril­liantly to com­press into a few pages a whole world of hu­man dis­tress and mis­ery.

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