On the Simenon bookshelf, it stands alone, anomalous, and awkwardly aloof.
Simenon claimed that he began the book after he was diagnosed with a heart condition and given less than two years to live.
It does show that, for all his bluster, Simenon could write with formal elegance and beauty.
Pedigree is neither a Maigret novel nor a roman dur; it does not seem much like a Simenon novel either.
Simenon is now, 20 years since his death, enjoying a renaissance—not as a popular novelist, but as a critical darling.
It is pleasant enough to swim in these waters, but with Simenon it is always much pleasanter to drown.
The emphasis instead has been on what Simenon called his romans durs.