Friday, June 15, 2012

47. Strangers in the House by Georges Simenon

this cover sucks.
This is part of Simenon's romans durs, but I think in this case, it might be called a roman doux.  It actually has somewhat of a happy ending!  It's the story of an aristocrat, Loursat, in a small french town who has basically given up on life.  Though a skilled lawyer, he rarely practices, spending his days eating meals in the kitchen and reading literature in his study, steadily drinking red wine.  Then one night, there is the sound of a gunshot in his sprawling house and he discovers a dead body in one of the unused (or so he thought) rooms.  It turns out that his daughter has been hanging out with a group of wild friends and they have been getting up to antics in the top level.  In becoming involved in the case, m. Loursat starts to come alive again.  We learn why he shut himself off and we follow him as he slowly awakens to his sorry state.  The main narrative thread is the investigation into the murder and the subsequent trial.  Quite entertaining and satisfying.

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