Tony Gleeson's Reviews > Fatale

Fatale by Jean-Patrick Manchette
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May 13, 11

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Read in May, 2011

This is, to my knowledge, only the third of Manchette's odd dark crime novels to be translated into English. It concerns a young woman whose charming and beautiful facade hides a ruthless professional killer. She takes up residence in a small French seaport town and proceeds to wreak havoc among the smug provincial residents. Numerous bodies fall throughout this short pessimistic tale. Manchette's narrative style (and perhaps this is reflected in the translation as well) is removed to the point of coldness, detailed to the point of being clinical. One follows the young woman's every movement and all of a sudden is involved in conspiracy, duplicity, and violence described with the same unemotional detachment as her more mundane activities. It's as if the reader is watching a strangely-paced documentary film chronicling tediously prosaic events only to have unexpected mayhem arise everywhere.
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