Apparently, Simenon thought that his Maigret novels were his job, while it was his other crime novels that were his passion. It’s easy to see how as a writer he’d reach that conclusion. Whodunnits, after all, have to follow a template; they don’t really work unless they adhere to that template. However other types of crime novels can follow their own path, go different ways and end up as a novel which really is incredibly interesting. Actually, this is a lot more than just interesting.
THE BLUE ROOM is a fantastic read, gripping, unsettling, disturbing and with an ending that wouldn’t disgrace a horror novel. If you’re looking for the bastard French off-spring of Jim Thompson and Barbara Vine (and really, aren’t we all?) you could do a lot worse than pick up a copy of THE BLUE ROOM.
At the start of the novel we know that Tony Falcone, an agricultural salesman from a small village, has been having an affair with a neighbour and that something horrible has happened as a consequence. What happened is gradually revealed, pulled together forensically as the crime is investigated and every corner of Falcone’s life is examined. Imagine a china vase which has been shattered on a hard floor and then painstakingly reassembled to see what it really looked liked. The vase is Tony Falcone, and unfortunately for him, despite his cock-sureness and bravado, when it’s all reassembled, it’s clear that he never really had a grasp on his life at all.
Superb and definitely recommended.
My new thriller, EDEN ST. MICHEL is published next month. You can get yourself a taster of it here!