The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien by Georges Simenon
On a trip to Brussels, Maigret unwittingly causes a man’s suicide, but his own remorse is overshadowed by the discovery of the sordid events that drove the desperate man to shoot himself.
I found this story so sad especially at the beginning. At the beginning we find Maigret following a man who is clearly very poor and troubled and for some reason Maigret has decided to follow the man because Maigret finds his behaviour intriguing. However, because of Maigret’s actions the man commits suicide and this really disturbs Maigret so Maigret decides to find out what drove this poor man to his actions. I must admit I was rather angry with Maigret at the beginning because of his silly actions causing a suicide. They were a bit childish for me and it was like Maigret was bored so decided to follow this poor man.
This story takes place in France, Belgium and Germany and Maigret has to move from country to country to find the answers he requires and there is considerable danger involved for Maigret as well.
This story is so atmospheric and full of drama you were never quite sure what would happen next. There were also some very suspicious and creepy characters involved as well which you just know are wrong. People try to prevent Maigret from finding out the truth but Maigret in his terrier like fashion hunts down the facts that he needs to build the picture and find the truth.
Overall, I found this story very sad. I was sad for the man who committed suicide and sad for the hanged man of Saint Pholien. I could not put this book down once I started it because I needed to know what happened in the past. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.
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About the author
Georges Simenon (1903-1989) was a Belgian writer who published nearly 500 novels and many short stories. Simenon is best known as the creator of the Maigret stories.