'The father of contemporary European detective fiction' Ann Cleeves
'Florentin pulled one of those faces which had once amused his classmates so much and disarmed the teachers . . .
Maigret didn't dare to ask why he had come to see him. He studied him, struggling to believe that so many years had passed . . .
He was so used to acting the fool that his face automatically assumed comical expressions. But his face was still greyish, his eyes anxious.'
A visit from a long-lost schoolmate who has fallen on hard times forces Maigret to unpick a seedy tangle of love affairs in Montmartre, and to confront the tragedy of a wasted life.
This novel has been published in a previous translation as Maigret's Boyhood Friend.
'His artistry is supreme' John Banville
'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century' Guardian
One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories
A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness
The most addictive of writers . . . a unique teller of tales
Hyper-prolific yet critically adored, the Belgian writer took crime novels into new terrority with his 75 books series – newly translated this week – winning devoted fans from Muriel Spark to Alfred Hitchcock in the process.
The crime writer and Maigret inventor's books were all composed in the same intense mood, as if he were gripped by a fever