The Pequod Review:
Georges Simenon’s extraordinary body of work included over 350 novels and novellas, a James Patterson-like volume of output that for many years led to a lack of appreciation of his literary talent. This changed somewhat when Simenon began writing his romans durs (or "hard novels"). Unlike his simpler Inspector Maigret stories, the romans durs are atmospheric and character-driven noirs, with hard-boiled prose and sympathy toward the violent impulses that underlie the routines of ordinary life. The Engagement is one of the best of them, the story of a solitary man (Monsieur Hire) with a questionable past who finds himself framed for a murder he didn’t commit. It is both a keen psychological profile of Mr. Hire as well as a successful thriller, with some depth on mob psychology and anti-Semitism. The book was made into a superb 1989 film by Patrice Leconte, probably the best Simenon adaptation to date.