Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Fatale, by Jean-Patrick Manchette
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This is an odd, disturbing little book, a noirish crime novel that hunts out small and bitter truths. It's written in a sparse, cold style, but one that hides a lot of heat. Aimee (or so she calls herself in this town, at least) is a killer, and, when she arrives in town, the sins and ambitions of the wealthy seem to bubble to the surface and leak down the walls. All so that Aimee can be paid for what she does best...
And yet what I liked best about this book was that the twists were not what I expected, not just in terms of plot, but in terms of what this story is, and what it's trying to do. With every twist, the story became a different kind of story than I expected. The mystery, here, is not in the plot, but in the thematic construction of the novel.
A strange and worthy little novel.