Wednesday, June 22, 2011

REVIEW: Fatale, by Jean-Patrick Manchette

Fatale, by Jean-Patrick Manchette. Published 2011 by NYRB Classics. Fiction. Crime Fiction. Translation.

So I guess this week has become, unofficially, NYRB Classics week at Boston Bibliophile! I did not plan this, but I can hardly think of a worthier publisher to focus on. I should have planned a spotlight week!

Well, there are plenty more NYRB titles in my TBR pile so maybe I will someday.

For now, I'll tell you about Fatale, a new release by French writer Jean-Patrick Manchette, a crime novel focusing on a young woman who calls herself Aimée, a career criminal who's set her sights on a small French town and its unsuspecting denizens. The novel follows her as she prepares to launch a crime- what crime, and why, we don't know until the end. But we watch her lay her groundwork. She rents an apartment; she shops; she gets to know the locals. Where is this going?

Fatale is a very short novel so you won't have to wait long to find out. In the end, as the blurb will tell you, her plot is undone but not before some staggering violence and scandal even she doesn't suspect. She becomes attached to one of the townspeople in a way she doesn't expect, and she gets more than she bargains for in this provincial backwater- and so do we readers.

Fatale is another one of those great beach books for the literary reader. It's expertly crafted and will pull you right along from its ambiguous beginning through its gruesome dénouement. Aimée is a compelling creation and her story will keep you turning the pages. I just wish there were more pages to turn; it's barely a novella, and I would have loved to watch more of her adventures unfold.

Rating: BEACH

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I LOVE these NYRB Classics and without intending to, have started quite a collection over the past few months.

(I wasn't familiar with this one, but I did read Wish Her Safe at Home which I enjoyed.)

Kristin said...

Sounds great! I love the premise.

Zibilee said...

Oh, this does sound rather interesting. I love the concept of not letting the reader know what the crime is until the very end. It's probably a very suspenseful read. Thanks for sharing it with us. It goes right to the top of the list!

Anonymous said...

Gosh, that's two in a row that I really want to read.

Anonymous said...

As I like page turner books, I know this one would be a lovely read.

ImageNations said...

Sound interesting for a book so short. And it isn't necessarily a crime novella, else we wouldn't have to wait till the end. I would love to read this.

Vasilly said...

The cover of Fatale makes me want to buy the book just so I can hang the cover on my wall! Great review. Since your thoughts on Fatale makes the book sound so good, maybe I should see if Manchette wrote more books. :-)

Kathleen said...

I'm very curious about the crime that is being planned.