Re: RARA-AVIS: 80s month - The Prone Gunman

From: JT Lindroos (
Date: 11 Apr 2003

> I kicked off eighties month with the English translation of The Prone
> by Jean-Patrick Machette. It features the hitman Martin Terrier and offers

I just read that a couple of weeks ago and it was fantastic. It takes the conventional story of a hitman wanting to leave the game but somehow turns it upside down somewhere along the way. It constantly keeps surprising you and the whole last section of the book is absolute dynamite. I also loved the other Manchette translation from City Lights (3 TO KILL, which reminded me of Donald Hamilton; the main character starts out as a family man, soon targeted by a couple of hitmen: he adapts and turns the tables) and can only hope they do many others. Has anybody read the other City Lights Noir titles? Thierry Jonquet, I think... and a Spanish novel related to jazz? I forget.

> For now I've moved on to Knotts and Crosses, the first of the Inspector
> Rebus series. I've always wanted to get into this series, but have never
> been able to, which I hope is because I've never started at the beginning
> and have simply made half-hearted stabs at books further down the line.

Another title I just read a month ago or so, and so far the only Rebus novel I've read. It was good, occasionally very good, but never went into high gear.

Also, I've been rereading MIAMI BLUES which goes with the month's theme, and it's just as wonderful as I remembered it. The brilliance is in the everyday details like the patter between Freddy and the cabbie Ms. Freeman, and the running joke with Hoke's teeth that at first isn't funny, but by the time Sgt. Wilson tosses them out on the street I was holding back the guffaws. Great stuff.


JT Lindroos
wit's end publishing
Forthcoming: The Second Half of the Double Feature by Charles Willeford

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