In her informative “Introduction” to the New York Review of Books edition of Three Bedrooms in Manhattan (translated by Marc Romano and Laurence G. Blochman}, Joyce Carol Oates points out that much of Simenon’s work involves obsession. In Three Bedrooms in Manhattan it’s sexual obsession, but Oates provides plenty of examples of other obsessions Simenon explored both in his stand-alone novels like this one and in his famous Maigret mystery series. Clearly, Simenon was driven by obsessions: his claim that he had sex with 10,000 women, his compulsive work habits that produced 400 novels, and quirks that made Simenon a “difficult” person to deal with. No matter. Simenon’s noirish novels take readers to dark places even in cities that never sleep.