'There were some weeks that were painful, nerve-racking. At the office or at home, in the middle of a meal, he would suddenly find his forehead bathed in sweat, a tightness in his chest, and at those times, feeling everyone's eyes on him was unbearable.' When an unusually inquisitive stranger strikes up conversation with Justin Calmar on the train home from a family holiday, his sun-drenched memories are overshadowed by an event that will change his life forever. As he travels alone through northern Italy and Switzerland, his carefully constructed life as an upright citizen begins to unravel, revealing secret motivations and hidden impulses that threaten to overwhelm him. Originally published in 1965, shortly after Simenon moved into the spacious new home he had built in Épalinges, Switzerland, this chilling novel is a powerful exploration of the fragility of the human psyche.
'There was no longer that ambivalent inconsistency between her words and thoughts, no more fever, no more artificial heat, no more vagueness. Instead was the truth in all its rawness, in black and white, in stark, cruel lines.' Adrift and alone, Betty finds herself propped up at the bar of a sleazy establishment on the Champs-Élysées. When an older woman takes her under her wing, Betty's tortured past returns to haunt her: excluded by her high-society peers and overwrought with jealousy, she struggles with a desperate compulsion to tear her picture-perfect life apart. Originally published in 1961, this gripping psychological thriller caused a sensation and inspired a film adaptation by Claude Chabrol. 'A brilliant portrait of betrayal, hypocrisy, love and loss' - Chicago Tribune
Jonas is used to his young wife disappearing. Everyone in the town knows that she goes off with other men. This time, however, he tells a small lie to protect her, saying she is visiting a school friend. It is a lie, however, that eats into him like an illness, provoking hostility and resentment of this timid little Russian-Jewish bookseller, who always thought he had been accepted. As suspicion mounts, his true, terrifying isolation is revealed.