La Tete d’un Homme

ISBN: 2253142964
ISBN 13: 9782253142966
By: Georges Simenon

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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

Filippo Bossolino

Ho trovato curioso il fatto che in questo quinto episodio della saga Maigret, il commissario metta a rischio la propria carriera per salvare la vita ad un condannato a morte, in quanto da lui ritenuto non colpevole dei crimini per cui accusato. Fra l'altro arrestato da Maigret stesso. Ho trovato curioso questo aspetto soprattutto perché nel romanzo precedente Maigret si rende "colpevole" del suicidio di una persona… Ma al di là dei possibili confronti rispetto agli scritti anteriori, "Una testa in gioco" rimane un'altra perla di Simenon. La parte relativa al rapporto Maigret-Radek è di assoluta intensità psicologica; entrambi decisi a non mollare, impostano una guerra di nervi, in cui Maigret, chiaramente, esce vincitore alla distanza.


A short Maigret in the classic Simenon tradition wherein Maigret solves a baffling mystery. An old woman and her maid is killed by a man to whom all the evidence points, yet even though he was the arresting officer, Maigret cannot reconcile the psychology of the man with the evidence. He arranges for the convicted killer to escape, risking his reputation and job discovering the identity of the true murderer while drawing on his pipe and sipping at his Calvados.The Maigret novels are addictive.

Paul Jellinek

I guess I'm just a sucker for these darkly comic and very French Inspector Maigret books--and this one is no exception. Simenon was one hugely popular writer who actually deserved to be.


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.

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.


Meh. I've now read two Maigret novels, and I just don't see what the big sneeze is about them. I read one in French, and thought, "Meh...but maybe it's because my French is rusty." Well, now I've read one in English, and had exactly the same reaction, so I don't think the language is the problem.There's just not much there, there.

Geschickt erzählte Variation auf «Verbrechen und Strafe».


Simenon's Inspector Maigret reads to me like a character with one foot on the crisp, well-lighted terra firma of Holmes and Auguste Dupin and the other foot in the foggy hardboiled netherworld of Philip Marlow and Sam Spade. This novel is one of over seventy Inspector Maigret mysteries that Simenon penned over his hyper-prolfiic career. It is a fairly conventional story, hewing closely to the beats of the traditional sleuth story (a murder occurs, the sleuth gathers information, some of it contradictory and strange, all the while leaving the reader in the dark until the ultimate scene when the inspector lights his pipe and explains away the mystery step by step, pacing the floor like a math professor). The window dressing, however, has a distinct pre-noir flavor--Maigret does his work in the coffee shops of Paris, smoking and drinking with all manner of strange characters from all walks of life; he wanders the foggy streets around the Seine and encounters more than a few hard luck cases. Such moments provided the most interesting reading in this novel, particularly since I don't much go in for the traditional puzzle-master sleuth stories, and the quality of the puzzle in this novel was a tad underwhelming anyway.


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.


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...

pierlapo quimby

Un Maigret va sempre bene.Possibili applicazioni pratiche:1) in stazioneil treno è in ritardo, l'uomo seduto al mio fianco indossa degli orribili sandali e siamo solo ad aprile, la piadina m'è rimasta sullo stomaco, ma...2) in borsala borsa è piena zeppa di fascicoli, pesa un quintale, non c'è spazio quasi per nient'altro, ma...3) pausa pranzodevo ancora finire l'atto che scade domani, alle tre passa il ragioniere con i documenti che avrebbe dovuto consegnarmi giorni fa, il telefono pare impazzito e sembra proprio che il capo voglia smollarmi quel contrattino neppure abbozzato e spacciato al cliente per “da rivedere”, ma...4) domenicami alzo presto, piove, resto in pigiama, mi annoio, ma......un Maigret va sempre bene.


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'.


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

Jason Paulios

Definitely wouldn't have seen this ending coming, one of his darkest and most psychologically complicated Maigret stories that I've read. Most are pretty slick and good enough to just keep reading one after another, this one actually made me stop and think afterwards.


Annoying translation - too, many, commas.

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