Calle de la Estación, 120 is the first novel by Léo Malet featuring private-eye Nestor Burma. Written in 1942, the last year of the German occupation of France during WWII, it was published in 1943. As some of his books this was adapted to comic by French artist Jacques Tardi.
Nestor Burma, a former Parisian private-eye, is being repatriated from a prisoners’ camp in Germany. The train is taking him to the occupied Paris but it makes a stop at Lyon in the Vichy zone. On the platform he recognises Bob Colomer,a former colleague who is shot dead just after greeting him. Nestor Burma had only had time to see a woman holding a gun. She looks very much like an actress, Madeleine Moraine. Bob Colomer last words are: 120 Rue de la Gare. Strange enough this address were the same last words that Burma, when he was at the German camp, heard from an amnesic prisoner nicknamed “La Globule”. Thus begins what it is considered by many the first French ‘roman noir’. A fascinating read with an interesting description of everyday life in France during WWII that serves also to introduce an engaging character, Nestor “Dynamite” Burma.
For more information about Leo Malet read here.
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The map with the occupation zones of France during the Second World War was taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:France_map_Lambert-93_with_regions_and_departments-occupation.svg