Maigret’s Anger by Georges Simenon

Maigret’s Anger

Finally, the weather is cooling down here in Ann Arbor, and I’m ever so glad to see the back end of the hot summer months! But unfortunately for Maigret, the dog days of summer have just begun in Paris. Anticipating the annual influx of tourists, most Parisians have begun their exodus for more serene getaways which has led to a lull in crime rates in Paris. However, when Lucas, one of Maigret’s trusty subordinates, fills him in about the disappearance of Emile Boulay, a strip club owner from Montmartre, it looks like Maigret will have his hands full.

At first, Maigret thinks Emile’s disappearance is possibly gang-related. But when his strangled body turns up at a busy part of the city two days later, this hypothesis begins to fall apart:

Every neighborhood of Paris, every social class, has its way of killing, so to speak, as it does its preferred method of committing suicide. There are streets where people throw themselves out of the window, others where they put their heads in charcoal or gas ovens, others where they take barbiturates.

Police similarly know the knifing neighborhoods, the ones where coshes are used, the ones like Montmartre, say, where firearms predominate.

The nature of Emile’s death makes Maigret take a hard look at his life – perhaps Emile had a mistress stashed somewhere or an affair that went sour. But all of Emile’s associates scoff at these. It turns out, not only was Emile a family man, but he had also taken in his wife’s family to live with them when they married.

Queries into Emile’s finances turn out to be another dead-end. As far as Maigret can tell, Emile had been a good businessman – a boss who was on top of the clubs’ accounts and unlike his rivals, didn’t have a habit of “sampling the merchandise.”

Similarly, Maigret’s chit chats with other nightclub owners turn up no clues. Yes, they had all been jealous of Emile’s success and discipline, but not jealous enough to take Emile out.

Without any convincing motives for the usual suspects, Maigret keeps digging, and his fury becomes apparent as he gets closer to solving this puzzle – this is one case where Maigret’s reputation is at stake!

As usual with Simenon’s stories, Maigret’s Anger proved to be a satisfying read. Up until now, in the Maigret novels I’ve read, Maigret’s persona has always been calm and collected. But here I saw another side of him – one simply mustn’t provoke this good detective! This made me feel like I know Maigret a wee bit better now. Also, it was nice to see Maigret being able to conduct his investigation without having to constantly refer to the prosecutor’s office and examining magistrates. The seedy nature of strip club business keeps the prosecutors away from cases like this – as far as they are concerned “that’s one less prison bill to pay…” (although Emile was hellbent on doing his business honestly). So seeing Maigret in action when he is given free rein was quite something. 🙂

Note: Many thanks to Penguin for sending me a review copy of Maigret’s Anger.

6 comments

  1. What a great review! Also, the book cover is mesmerizing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the cover is very appropriate! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I always enjoy your reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Martie. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You must be a speed-reader, Nirmala. I am always impressed at how much you read in a short time. Are you able to keep the stories from blending in your memory?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I only read one story at a time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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