by Georges Simenon, introduction by Norman Rush, translated from the French by Marc Romano
A young Frenchman, Joseph Timar, travels to Gabon carrying a letter of introduction from an influential uncle. He wants work experience; he wants to see the world. But in the oppressive heat and glare of the equator, Timar doesn’t know what to do with himself, and no one seems inclined to help except Adèle, the hotel owner’s wife, who takes him to bed one day and rebuffs him the next, leaving him sick with desire. But then, in the course of a single night, Adèle’s husband dies and a black servant is shot, and Timar is sure that Adèle is involved. He’ll cover for the crime if she’ll do what he wants. The fix is in. But Timar can’t even begin to imagine how deep.
In Tropic Moon, Simenon, the master of the psychological novel, offers an incomparable picture of degeneracy and corruption in a colonial outpost.
These three roman durs, and the ones that will follow them, including the insouciantly gruesome The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By, another tale of a husband on the run, and Tropic Moon, a frightening study of lust and violence in the Belgian Congo, are superb and polished works of art masquerading as pulp fiction.
— John Banville, The New Republic
A sleek, feverish read, perfect for a summer afternoon indoors, all the windows open wide and the fans on high.
— Open Letters Monthly