Gritty from east to west, Marseille is the perfect venue for the latest in Akashic’s venerable Noir series.
While earlier entries in this 70-volume series have sometimes been bleak and atmospheric, this one is all red meat. Readers can watch villains stalk their prey, as in Réne Frégni’s “The Dead Pay a Price for the Living,” Emmanuel Loi’s spooky “On Borrowed Time,” and Salim Hatubou’s quirky “The Warehouse for People from Before.” They can see killers confront the fallout of their crimes, as in Marie Neuser’s “I’ll Go Away with the First Man Who Says I Love You” and Serge Scotto’s poignant “Green, Slightly Gray.” Sometimes they can even watch the blow fall, as in “Silence Is Your Best Friend,” by Patrick Coulomb. Minna Sif in “The Red Mule” and François Thomazeau in “Extreme Unction” know that some people are complicit in their fates, while Philippe Carrese’s “The Problem with the Rotary” shows the cosmic injustice of mortality. Drugs and death pair up in Rebecca Lighieri’s “What Can I Say?”; Christian Garcin points out an unexpected consequence to having a job in organized crime in “The Josettes Really Liked Me.” And François Beaune in “Katrina,” Pia Petersen in “The Prosecution,” and editor Fabre in “Joliette Sound System” all show the disaster than ensues when social support systems fail.
Just as Marseille is tailor-made for noir, this dark banquet is tailor-made for noir fans.