Maigret and the Black Sheep by Georges Simenon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
After rather disappointing "Maigret's War of Nerves" ( reviewed here ) and deeply moving "Maigret and the Spinster" ( here ), with its unforgettably sad character of Cécile, I have just finished reading "Maigret and the Black Sheep", an interesting and solid psychological crime novel, one of later entries in the famous series.
Chief Superintendent Maigret is woken at night to investigate the murder of a retired businessman, René Josselin. Mr. Josselin has been shot to death in his own apartment, while his wife was in a theatre with their daughter. Maigret's main problem is that the victim has been a universally liked man, with no enemies. Maigret eventually gets annoyed as people seem to constantly repeat that the Josselins were "decent sorts of people." The Chief Superintendent has some doubts and is not fully convinced that the grieving wife, the daughter and the son-in-law, a busy doctor dedicated to his patients, are telling the entire truth. Yet a breakthrough does not come for a very long time, until Torrence, one of Maigret's men, finds something interesting.
The denouement is logical and totally plausible. Many readers will probably call it disappointing as it is hinted at by the novel's title (the French title is much better - it translates to "Maigret and the Good People"), yet I quite like the obviousness of the ending (as I loathe the so-called "twists and turns"). Quite a readable novel! But I am done with Maigret, at least for the time being.
Three and a quarter stars.
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