I have lately been gobbling up many of Georges Simenon's crime novels. Most notably the creator of the character Inspector Maigret, he also wrote many romans dur (i.e. "serious novels"), which I suppose this one falls under, though it was probably my least favorite that I've read thus far.
Simenon was a ridiculously prolific writer who published nearly 200 novels. (Even Nora Roberts has only 165--although she's not dead yet and will probably catch up to him. But Simenon still wins just because.)