Like many of the greatest noir thrillers, Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot begins with a classic, even clichéd set-up: Martin Terrier, the hired killer, needs just one more big job so that he can turn in his guns, return to his native village to find and marry his childhood sweetheart, and retire.
But nothing goes as expected, his “last job” turns out to be a set-up that results in a bloody shoot-out from which Terrier barely escapes with his life, and soon he’s on the run from not only the authorities and his treacherous ex-bosses but also the members of a crime syndicate still seeking revenge for an earlier hit on one of theirs. (We won’t even mention what they do to his cat.)
With Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot, Tardi, at the top of his form, once again puts his lushly efficient neo-clear-line style in the service of Manchette’s gleefully brisk prose for a spectacularly dark, violent and fast-paced crime thriller that will delight fans of their previous collaboration, West Coast Blues.
(NOTE: Manchette’s original 1981 novel, La Position du tireur couché, was released in English under the title The Prone Gunman by City Lights in 2001.)
Jacques Tardi / Jean-Patrick Manchette
7.75 x 10.5
September 7, 2011
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