The Madman of Bergerac (Inspector Maigret)
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A new translation of Simenon's tense novel, book fifteen in the new Penguin Maigret series.
He recalled his travelling companion's agitated sleep - was it really sleep? - his sighs, and his sobbing. Then the two dangling legs, the patent-leather shoes and hand-knitted socks . . . An insipid face. Glazed eyes. And Maigret was not surprised to see a grey beard eating into his cheeks. A distressed passenger leaps off a night train and vanishes into the woods.
Maigret, on his way to a well-earned break in the Dordogne, is soon plunged into the pursuit of a madman, hiding amongst the seemingly respectable citizens of Bergerac.
Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.
'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant.' - John Gray
'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.' - The Guardian
'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness.' - The Independent
question frightened her. Everything frightened her. “Five years,” she said at last in a dull voice. “Were you already living in Bergerac?” Again she looked at Maigret for a considerable time before answering: “I was living in Algiers with my mother and sister.” Maigret found it quite difficult to go on. The least word seemed to scare her. “And Dr. Rivaud was living there too?” “He spent two years at the hospital there.” Maigret was studying her hands. Somehow they didn’t seem the right
tidying and brushing up the crumbs. She kept her eyes fixed on her, and at last she couldn’t help saying: “I’ll bring you a little hand-brush in the morning. There’s a spare one downstairs. That broom’s such a clumsy thing.” “Did he often have women visitors?” “I don’t know.” “Yes, you do. Come on! Speak out. There’s nothing to be frightened of. Don’t forget I was on your side yesterday when the others wouldn’t believe you.” “It wouldn’t do anybody any good.” “What wouldn’t?” “If I did
important to me. Always wants to see to it himself.” “I suppose it’s never crossed your mind that he might not be qualified?” The young man nearly choked, then decided that Maigret was only pulling his leg. “You’re joking . . . My chief is not merely a doctor, he’s a great doctor. If he set up in Paris he’d be famous in no time.” The young man was absolutely sincere. His words rang with an admiration that made no reserves. “Do you know where he qualified?” “Montpellier, I think. In fact,
traveled. She’d had affairs. She’d had two children . . . But wasn’t that all in the natural order of things? “Was it chest trouble?” “No. In her head. She was always complaining of headaches . . . And then one day she caught meningitis and had to be rushed off to the hospital.” A pause. So far it had just gushed out of its own accord, but Joséphine Beausoleil had now come to the critical point. She seemed to know she was on dangerous ground, for she looked inquiringly at Françoise, wondering
his thoughts. She hesitated. But in the end she snatched up the receiver again. “Hallo! . . . 167, please.” “Here! Leduc!” And Maigret whispered a few words into his ear. Leduc seemed surprised and embarrassed. “Do you think . . . ?” he began. But he broke off, and half a minute later they could hear him cranking the Ford. “Hallo! . . . It’s Françoise speaking . . . Yes . . . I’m speaking from the Hôtel d’ Angleterre—the inspector’s room. My mother’s here . . . Yes, the inspector wants you