It comes as something of a surprise to realise that this low-key thriller marks the first occasion Claude Chabrol and Gerard Depardieu have worked together. In a role Chabrol created specifically for the actor, Depardieu stars as Paul Bellamy, a police inspector spending the summer with his wife (a fantastic Marie Bunel) in Southern France. Ever the detective, Bellamy finds his interest piqued when Noël Gentil (Jacques Gamblin) approaches him claiming to have killed a man. Bellamy can’t help but delve into the case and this, combined with the unexpected arrival of his brother (Clovis Cornillac), leads to a particularly diverting holiday.
It’s a neatly plotted and wholly engaging film from Chabrol, who, while clearly paying tribute to Georges Simenon’s much loved Maigret, has created a wonderful character in the form of Paul Bellamy. Depardieu, ably abetted by a wonderful supporting cast, embodies him beautifully.