The legendary Georges Simenon was the most successful and influential writer of crime fiction in a language other than English; André Gide called him 'the greatest French novelist of our times'.
Celebrated crime fiction expert Barry Forshaw's informed and lively study draws together Simenon's extraordinary life and his work on both page and screen. By the time of Simenon's death in 1989, his French copper Maigret had become an institution, rivaled only by Sherlock Holmes. The pipe-smoking Inspector of Police is a quietly spoken observer of human nature who uses the techniques of psychology on those he encounters (both the guilty and the innocent) - with no rush to moral condemnation. Simenon's non-Maigret standalone books are among the most commanding in the genre, and, as a trenchant picture of French society, his concise novels collectively offer up a fascinating analysis. And his influence on an army of later crime writers is incalculable.
Alongside his own considerable insights, Barry Forshaw has interviewed people who worked either with Simenon or on his books: publishers, editors, translators, and other specialist writers. He has created a literary prism through which to appreciate one of the most distinctive achievements in the whole of crime fiction.