MAIGRET HAS DOUBTS by Georges Simenon


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An unusual Maigret: it's told (somewhat awkwardly) in flashback, it involves relatively little sleuthing, and it offers no definite solution--since, as the title suggests, Inspector M. has doubts. . . right up to the execution of the supposed murderer. He is passive, numb Adrien Josset, 40, who's charged with the bloody killing of his older, richer, estranged wife, jet-setter Christine. And Josset certainly seems guilty: he wanted to marry his young mistress, he disposed of the murder weapon, his wife still had financial power over his pharmaceuticals business. After a long interrogation, however, Maigret becomes almost convinced of Josset's innocence, though puzzled by his behavior. And evidence does appear to suggest that Christine had a slew of possibly jealous lovers. But the higher-ups want a conviction, public sympathy is utterly anti-Josset (especially when his mistress' father commits suicide), and. . . the guillotine awaits. Not for those who like their mysteries neatly resolved, then--but it's a dark, reflective story (originally written in 1959), with enough vivid Simenon characterization to offset the static, dialogue-heavy presentation.

Pub Date: May 31st, 1982
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich