First Sentence: The very first contact between Detective Chief Inspector Maigret and the dead man with whom he was to spend several weeks in the most puzzling intimacy was on 27 June 1930 in circumstances that were mundane, difficult and unforgettable all at the same time.
Back of the book:
“Instead of the detail filling itself in and becoming clearer, it seemed to escape him. The face of the man in the ill-fitting coat just misted up so that it hardly looked human. In theory this mental portrait was good enough, but now it was replaced by fleeting images which should have added up to one and the same man but which refused to get themselves into focus.”
The circumstances of Monsieur Gallet’s death all seem fake: the name the deceased was travelling under and his presumed profession, and more worryingly, his family’s grief. Their haughtiness seems to hide ambiguous feelings about the hapless man. In this haunting story, Maigret discovers the appalling truth and the real crime hidden behind the surface of lies.
Quote from the book:
He slept heavily until the train reached Paris, and his sleep was populated by indistinct silhouettes and a nauseating sense of teeming crowds.
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Last Sentence: But at the same time he was thinking: the doctor claims he wouldn’t have lived three years…let’s suppose the insurance company loses 60,000 francs…it has capital of ninety million.