Here's what I wrote about Three to Kill and Manchette's other novel available in English, The Prone Gunman:
"Manchette reinvigorated noir, inventing what French critics call the néo-polar, or neo-whodunnit, and if all that neo stuff makes you roll your eyes, stop and think for a minute: How many of the old-time hard-boiled writers make your blood run cold the way they presumably did for readers in the 1930s and 1940s? How mean, in other words, are Raymond Chandler's mean streets today?Click on the Jacques Tardi link above, and you'll see why I'm excited about this Fantagraphics release.
"Certainly Manchette's time, an age that saw assassinations, cover-ups at the highest levels, and revelations of the violence that attended colonialism and its end, could no longer be shocked by small-town or even big-city corruption of the Hammett and Chandler kind. Manchette restored that ability to shock, with tales of what power can do to those it finds convenient to crush. And he did it while remaining true to the roots of pulp. Heck, the guy even loved American movies and played the saxophone. How much more genuine can you get?"
Here are some previous Detectives Beyond Borders posts that mentioned Manchette, who figures — or at least part of him does — in Swierczynski's novel The Blonde.
© Peter Rozovsky 2009