wo strangers meet on a bus along a dusty road in rural France. Tati is a tough, work-worn widow, who runs the farm her late husband left behind, while trying to keep out of the way of her predatory in-laws. Jean is an odd, quiet man, recently out of prison, with nowhere to go.
These lost souls recognize something in each other, and Jean becomes Tati's lodger and farm worker. In the still and heat of the summer, they labour together and, inevitably, begin to sleep together. Soon, however, their strange affair will become something altogether darker.
First published in 1942 at the same time as Albert Camus' The Outsider, this is Simenon's existentialist masterpiece, exploring the dangerous mystery of who we are and what we desire. 'Published, like The Outsider, in 1942, and at least equal to Camus's work in portraying a doomed and alienated life' David Hare