An illustrated record of the macabre world of 'le 36', the Paris police HQ


Once the backdrop to novelist Georges Simenon’s commissaire Jules Maigret, and now that of the gritty French TV series Spiral, the building that stands at number 36 quai des Orfèvres in central Paris is the longstanding home to several of the capital’s elite police investigation squads. French documentary filmmaker and writer Raynal Pellicer was given exceptional access to the workings of one of the grittiest of these, the serious crime squad, and, with the illustrator Titwane, this month publishes an unusual and painstakingly detailed book of sketches and text on the day-to-day reality of the officers' often macabre jobs. Louise Fessard reports.

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The 36 quai des Orfèvres is the address of various Paris police criminal investigation units, and in France the site is as emblematic as (New) Scotland Yard is in Britain.