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Agatha Christie Wiki

In Un meurtre en sommeil, the French Télévisions film adaptation of Agatha Christie's Sleeping Murder, for the season 1 of the Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie TV series, Mr Balmont is a tennis instructor whose closest parallel from the original novel is probably Richard Erskine. Balmont is portrayed by Eric Soubelet.

Questioned by the police about his relationship with Hélène Poliakov, he revealed that some fifteen years previously, Hélène took tennis lessons from him. She tried to seduce him and they were attracted to each other but held it off for one year before succumbing. At one point he even wanted to leave his wife Gilda for Hélène. However Gilda talked him out of it, urging him to think about his wife and children. When Balmont went to see Hélène to break off the relationship, she was also very upset. She told him that someone was also pressurising her to end the relationship but did not say who. According to Balmont. Hélène supposedly left the area three days later. She didn't take her daughter along, which he found strange. Balmont did not believe the story that Hélène left for another man. They were too much in love with each other.

To Larosière, if it was unlikely that Hélène left alone and if Balmont did not think she had left for another man, this only left the option that she was murdered. Balmont, as one of the last persons to see her. Moreover, Séverina Patrominio had been murdered probably because she knew something and had been blackmailing Hélène's killer. Balmont was thus a prime suspect. He, his wife and another suspect, the lawyer Guillaume Parisot were all subjected to a handwriting analysis test. The handwriting expert Martin Carot exonerated Balmont and the others because their hands did not match that of the person who wrote Séverina's fake suicide note.

Given that Balmont had a jealous wife at the time of his affair and given that his wife held on to him, this makes Balmont a closer parallel to Richard Erskine than Jackie Afflick from the original novel although his occupation is different from either of them.