The scribe Valdemir Mota de Menezes read this note on the literary genre called ROMAN POLICIER and its development among French writers.
is the most widely used term for crime writing in France. Broadly used in the marketing of books to identify works across the crime and detection genre, the term roman policier may also be employed more specifically to refer to a subgenre of crime and mystery writing that evolved out of a realist and popular heritage. Like fiction noir and the cinematic film noir, the roman policier places importance on milieu and atmosphere, and on the mystery of the psyche.
Before any of these terms was used, Eugène François Vidocq's chronicling of his own crime solving in Mémoires de Vidocq (1828–129; Memoirs of Vidocq; Vidocq the Police Spy) demonstrated his talent for disguise and understanding of the criminal underworld. Vidocq's combination of police procedure and emphasis on insight based on experience was to become very influential as the genre developed in France and in the work of other nationals who wrote in the French language, as exemplified by the work of the Belgian Georges Simenon. In his many novels centered around the police work of Inspector Jules Maigret, Simenon achieved a blend of the roman problème and the roman policier by centering his foci on psychological investigation of character and on milieu, rather than on reconstruction of crimes.
Others who fused the realist approach of the roman noir with the psychological intrigue of the roman problème include Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac, whose D'entre les morts (1954; The Living and the Dead) is the angst-producing, psychologically driven suspense novel that Alfred Hitchcock brought to the screen in Vertigo. An earlier exemplar is Camille Hedwige who created an anxiety-driven enigma in L'Appel de la morte (1935), a work that prefigures the work of Patricia Highsmith. Hedwige's contemporary, Claude Aveline, is preoccupied with character and place in his imaginative La Double mort de Frederic Belot: suivi d'une double note sur le roman policier (1932; The Double Death of Frederic Belot), which, as the subtitle indicates, includes a discussion of the roman policier. Others who write in this vein include Catherine Arley, who focuses on the internal struggle accompanying a character's slide into crime, and Sebastien Japrisot and Madeleine Coudray.