“The place smelled of fairgrounds, of lazy crowds, of nights when you stayed out because you couldn’t go to bed, and it smelled like New York, of its calm and brutal indifference.”
I’ve not read anything by Simenon before this. And didn’t know anything about him. He’s got quite a background. He wrote about 400 books, many under various pen names.
This one is about strangers who meet in a diner in Manhattan and wander the streets together. They’ve both recently moved to New York from Europe.
The diner scene makes me think of Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, both belong to a similar time frame. The book was originally published in French in 1946, and the painting was completed in 1943.