Books by Jean-Patrick Manchette

IVORY PEARL by Jean-Patrick Manchette
Released: May 15, 2018

"Idiosyncratic French novelist Manchette, whose 1995 death at age 52 prevented him from completing this existentialist thriller, went out in style. Short but sprawling, the novel packs a mean punch."
In his final, unfinished novel, available for the first time in English, Manchette departs from crime fiction—but not extreme violence—to deliver a saga of high adventure. Read full book review >
THE MAD AND THE BAD by Jean-Patrick Manchette
Released: July 15, 2014

"A minor masterpiece from a French novelist whose other recently reissued works include Fatale and The Prone Gunman."
A young beauty sprung from an insane asylum, a hired killer with a bad case of workplace anxiety, a calculating philanthropist and his orphaned nephew create nonstop havoc in this 1972 French novel, translated into English for the first time. Read full book review >
THE PRONE GUNMAN by Jean-Patrick Manchette
Released: Nov. 15, 2002

"Manchette (1942-95) is a master of both economy and irony. Brutal and bracing: Terrier's tale fascinates even as it chills."
The second English translation of the late Manchette (Three To Kill, p. 146). In Liverpool, cool hitman Martin Terrier (known to his bosses as Christian) needs extra effort to take out nervous target Marshal Dubofsky, who flees at the sight of him. A mod redhead passerby in black plastic boots further complicates the job. Terrier dispatches both with close range shots. It's the first time he's killed a witness, but no matter. On this tenth anniversary, he's resolved to quit the life. He plans to return to his native France and retire with Anne, the girlfriend of his adolescence. (They made a promise to each other a decade ago and have since communicated irregularly, by letter.) Terrier's decision meets with resistance from every quarter. Lover Alexa throws a tantrum and trashes his apartment. He leaves both her and faithful tomcat Sudan behind when he goes home. Cox, the man who pays him on behalf of "The Company," tries unsuccessfully to engage Terrier for one more job with the lure of an astronomical fee. Anne is married, albeit indifferently. She's intrigued by Terrier's sudden reappearance in her life, but skeptical. Is killer Terrier just an old-fashioned romantic? Another threat comes from the overwrought Rossana Rossi, sister of one of Terrier's victims and bent on revenge. Somebody sends Terrier a sealed aquarium, full of water and the gutted body of his tomcat Sudan. And Cox undertakes a campaign of more palpable persuasion. The tables have definitely turned. Read full book review >
THREE TO KILL by Jean-Patrick Manchette
Released: March 1, 2002

"A social satire cum suspense equally interested in dissecting everyday banalities and manufacturing thrills. Writing with economy, deadpan irony, and an eye for the devastating detail, Manchette spins pulp fiction into literature. "
A first appearance in English for the late Manchette (1942-95). Near the end of this sleek noir thriller, Georges Gerfaut sums up the plot thus far for an enigmatic beauty named Alphonsine, who may or may not help him: "Until last summer I was a middle manager in a company in Paris. I went on vacation and two men tried to kill me, twice, for reasons unknown to me. Two complete strangers. At which point I left my wife and children and, instead of informing the police, fled." (The unanswered "Why?" pulses provocatively under the surface.)? Gerfaut goes on to recount several harrowing close calls over the previous months. He begins as an homme in a gray flannel suit, leading a comfortable but unexciting bourgeois life. The accoutrements of his Mercedes—steel-gray with brown interior—are described with clinical precision. Late one night, he plays Good Samaritan, picking up an injured man on the side of the highway and taking him to a hospital. The man, Mouzon, is bleeding heavily and can barely speak. Three days later comes the first of several attempts on Gerfaut's life, ordered by creepy-elegant crime kingpin Alonso Emerich y Emerich, who loves only his bull mastiff Elizabeth, but her excessively, and carried out by the volatile hitmen Carlo and Bastien. They finish off Mouzon before devoting themselves completely to the pursuit of Gerfaut. Read full book review >