La Tête d’un homme

ISBN: 2266001612
ISBN 13: 9782266001618
By: Georges Simenon

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Crime Crime Mystery Ebook France Georges Simenon Maigret Mysteries Mystery Simenon To Read

About this book

A rich American widow and her maid have been stabbed to death in a brutal attack. All the evidence points to Joseph, a young drifter, and he is soon arrested. But what is his motive? Or is he just a pawn in a wider conspiracy?Inspector Maigret believes the police have the wrong man and lets him escape from prison to prove his innocence. perhaps, with Joseph on the loose, the real murderer will surface.A deadly game of cross and double-cross has begun...

Reader's Thoughts


Perhaps I just wasn't in the right frame of mind for a mystery, but I found this book to be terribly dull. It was rather obvious who was behind the murder, but it didn't matter because I didn't care. Thank goodness this was only 150 pages long!


Another strong entry in Simenon's Maigret series. I like how Simenon structured the start of the story, pushing us into a narrative that has been running for quite some time.

Elijah Kinch Spector

Wait, is that title symbolic or did they actually still use the guillotine in 1931? Someone mentions it, but I didn't know if they were being flowery or not...Anyway, this was my introduction to Simenon and his extremely famous (in much of the world) Maigret character, and it was a pretty unique experience. Would it seem as unique if I'd read a few more of the seventy-plus books written about the character? Probably not, but to see where detective fiction was going in France in a time as pivotal for the genre as 1931 is fascinating, and Maigret, or at least this book, seems to sit in a spot somewhere between the eccentric crimes and whodunits that were Doyle's legacy, and the hardboiled private eyes that were starting to come out of California.This definitely isn't a whodunit, as it's pretty easy to tell who the murderer is relatively early on, it's more of a "howdunit," if you will. We begin to figure out who was involved, and what may have happened, but what we really need our hero to tell us is how it all came about, who did what, and why. On top of that, while the crime does contain some of the strange criminal showboating of some Sherlock Holmes stories, those elements aren't made clear until the end, and they don't change the fact that the murder itself is extremely brutal, which lends itself more toward the hardboiled school.Also leaning toward what was going on in America at the time, is Maigret himself, although really he's entirely his own thing. Though smart, and big, and gruff, Maigret's greatest virtue as a crime-solver seems to be patience. It strikes me as more realistic than most that our hero largely figures things out by waiting and following and waiting and following and glaring and keeping silent until something cracks. In fact, the story begins with the singular idea that our hero has arrested the wrong man, and so he helps said wrong man escape rather than let him be executed, so that he can make up for an earlier quick judgment and take more time to really figure it all out. When asked whether his career and reputation are worth some nobody, Maigret always answers by asking what a man's head is worth. This is part of what makes the character great: he actually fucking cares. It isn't just he solves the crime and the villain is led off to be executed after the book is over, Maigret thinks about the fact that lives are in his hands and risks everything to make sure he's making the right decision. And in the end, we're even shown the murderer's execution, and Maigret's reaction, and that's what makes him seem stronger than a normal series character. I'll have to read more to see if that's kept up.

Ivonne Rovira

Usually large and in charge, Chief Inspector Jules Maigret rarely breaks a sweat in most of Georges Simenon’s novels, but in A Man’s Head, Maigret’s job is on the line.Joseph Heurtin, a deliveryman, was condemned to hang for the brutal stabbing murder of a rich American woman, Mrs. Henderson, and her maid. Gradually, Maigret comes to believe that Heurtin — who never met the women, from whom nothing was stolen — is a fall guy in a bigger plan. But what? To find out, Maigret engineers Heurtin’s escape from the Santé prison’s High Surveillance wing in order to follow him. Coméliau, the examining magistrate and Maigret’s nemesis, makes it clear that, should things go wrong, it will be on Maigret’s head. And do things go wrong! For much of the novel, Maigret, although outwardly placid, is inwardly wracked with anxiety — as is the reader! What did Mrs. Henderson really die? And how are Heurtin and the murdered women connected to a young Czech medical student who makes no secret of knowing too much about the case? As Heurtin gives one police tail after another the slip, the case becomes more and more baffling, even for Maigret, much less the reader. You’ll find yourself anxiously reading A Man’s Head in one go in order to see Maigret crack this tough case.

Ma'lis Wendt

This classic Simenon was the perfect read for a Paris vacation. The Inspector suspects that he has arrested the wrong man and so engineers his escape in order to locate his accomplices. Lots of Paris atmosphere and steady police work.


In this outing, we see Maigret put his job on the line. He is convinced that a convicted killer is not guilty of the crime, even though he is the one who put him behind bars. Unraveling the truth takes some time (and a lot of police trailing). The ending reveals why it was so difficult to ascertain the truth.


Al solito: prosa piacevole, intreccio intrigante, e nelle ultime trenta pagine l'antipaticissimo deus ex machina che rovina tutto il divertimento risolvendo la vicenda off-screen. E va be'.


A comparatively disappointing outing for Maigret after the high quality of the last two books. Simenon continues his exploration of Paris life but in a manner less convincing, or compelling than his recently published books. The conceit behind the opening two chapters of the book is surprising and the reader looks forward to a fresh insight in the ways in which Maigret himself, as opposed to the system in which he works, comes to conclusions as to guilt and innocence. Unfortunately that opening promises more than the book delivers.Like almost all Simenons this book is worth reading if only for the detailed and loving portrait of the different ways that Parisians of different classes live their lives although it does not rate among the “must reads” or even more so, the “must rereads” of the Maigret books.


Good little pocket-sized Inspector Maigret mystery to read on the train. As good as any of the other Maigret mysteries.

Jason Reeser

The first Maigret book I've read, and it was excellent. The atmosphere, the characters, the Paris backdrop, all of it just perfect. The mystery itself was great. As other people have said, a real mix of the Chandler-like noir with Sherlock Holmes. I wasn't sure what that meant when I started it, but it is the perfect description. I want to read more of Simenon. I wish there was a collection for Kindle. I'll have to save my money.

Francesca Tessari

La presenza di Maigret �� determinante come sempre: solo con la sua mole terrorizza i criminali, ma erano altri tempi e probabilmente questo genere non fa per me.

Brian Calandra

The back cover copy calls Simenon a giant of 20th Century literature, which would give my dear friend Mike Penncavage a place in the pantheon as well. This book has precisely ONE idea - the criminal mind consists of the need to commit crimes and to confess to them - which is barely explored through the use of a one-dimensional Mike Hammer meets Hercule Poirot sleuth-cum-take-no-bullshit PI. A lark, and nothing more. Would it kill to add some subtext or depth beyond the follow-through on the premise? And don't all-knowing detectives do more than smoke cigarettes and grunt monosyllabically to show how tough they are?


This book is unusual for the Maigret series. It is one of those plots which hinges on an 'evil maladjusted genius'. This is clear from almost the very beginning of the book. Rather than suspense, there is a lot of tension until at last the conclusion is reached. Essentially there's a lot of information given at the beginning, and then a lot of information given at the end... in the middle one basically reads and waits. In short, not the most enjoyable of the Maigret books, for me at least. Still, it is well written as most of them are.

Geschickt erzählte Variation auf «Verbrechen und Strafe».


I have recently become addicted to Simenon's 'Maigret' novels. This is the fourth I have read so far and it's brilliant. The atmosphere, the pacing, the plotting: everything is tremendous! I have already acquired two more 'Maigret' novels and have started reading one of them...

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