Review: Manchette’s Fatale

Jean-Patrick Manchette

I think this is generally thought of as Manchette’s most fully realized work and the culmination of his deeply nihilistic noir novels. The Fatale is a young woman who, we soon discovers, kills lecherous men for revenge, and money. She is literally a serial killer, yet still we cheer for her, especially as she seems so close to ruining the lives of scores of awful bourgeoisie dilettantes in a small French town. Except, then, as always happens in a Manchette novel, things get even more chaotic and violent.

Like every Manchette novel this is a brilliant piece of economic writing, propulsive plot, and compelling (if hardly likeable) characters. That he does so much with so few words can feel like magic.


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    […] 44. Fatale, Jean-Patrick Manchette — Recommended […]

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