4 July 2009

Georges Simenon, The Yellow Dog, 1931

Of the seventy-five 'Maigret' novels that Georges Simenon wrote between 1931 and 1972 this is the fourth. Commissaire Maigret is called away from Paris to solve the crime of an almost-fatal shooting in the French harbour of Concarneau, which leaves the town in a state of panic as further attempts at murder ensue. And there is also the mystery to solve of the strange yellow dog that has been seen everywhere – does it provide a link to the most likely suspect? The unfolding of the plot is classically straightforward for a mystery novel, never taking any great leaps of deduction on the part of Maigret, who here remains a very taciturn and insular character. This is what differentiates The Yellow Dog from all other Maigret stories in that the reader is given no clues as to what is going on in Maigret’s mind, something that defines just about every other Maigret story. The plot twists are sometimes predictable, but best of all is that both the story and Maigret himself are such believable creations. Very enjoyable.  PY


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