The Mad and the Bad by Jean-Patrick Manchette

The Mad and the Badimage
Jean-Patrick Manchette

Manchette strikes huge with this little noir novella. Similar to Fatale it’s not just a story of blood and bullets, it has an underlying political message.

The story is swift and it feels every bit of a screenplay. Manchette possess an undeniable shock factor along with hardcore characters. He always manages to insert a kick ass female character with the ability to insight fear and hold her own. He provides endless excitement and mayhem engaging the reader at warp speed.

A philanthropist uncle hiring a hitman to kill his nephew and nanny – you know a potboiler is brewing and The Mad and the Bad prove my suspicion.

This is NOT a slow and steady read, quite the opposite. It is however, loaded with substance and characters full of grit and a rich darkness. You feel transported to circa 1972 with the vibe Manchette’s setting creates along with the players.

Full speed ahead is what Manchette delivers, but the reader wouldn’t have it any other way. Fast forward without subtlety intended to cause a stir and hook the reader in the process. Masterfully created, a gem of a bloodbath in a little but mighty noir thriller. Impressive. Manchette never disappoints me, he amazes me every single time.


Recommendation: 4/5

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