His books are all action, unfolding with a laconic efficiency that would make his killers proud.–The Economist
Martin Terrier is a hired killer who wants out of the game–so he can settle down and marry his childhood sweetheart. After all, that’s why he took up this profession! But the company won’t let him go: they have other plans. Once again, the gunman must assume the prone firing position. A tour de force, this violent tale shatters as many illusions about life and politics as it does bodies. Jean-Patrick Manchette subjects his characters and the reader alike to a fierce exercise in style.
This tightly plotted, corrosive parody of the success story is widely considered to be Manchette’s masterpiece, and was named a New York Times Notable Book. The Prone Gunman is a classic of modern noir.
For Manchette and the generation of writers who followed him, the crime novel is no mere entertainment, but a means to strip bare the failures of society, ripping through veils of appearance, deceit, and manipulation to the greed and violence that are the society’s true engines.—Boston Globe
There’s not a superfluous word or overdone effect . . . one of the last cool, compact and shockingly original crime novels Manchette left as his legacy to modern noir fiction.—New York Times
For the first time readers can experience in English translation the masterful thriller considered Manchette’s finest, proof positive that the French knew what they were talking about when they labeled this sort of novel ‘noir’.—Publishers Weekly
This superbly muscular translation of the late French mystery writer Jean-Patrick Manchette’s most celebrated work, The Prone Gunman, is the third volume issued [by] City Lights Noir. The series may prove to be the most needed contribution to contemporary fiction by any publisher in a good long while.—The San Francisco Chronicle
Jean-Patrick Manchette was a French crime novelist credited with reinventing and reinvigorating the genre. He wrote ten short novels in the 1970s and early 80s, and is widely recognized as the foremost French crime fiction author of that time. His stories are violent, existentialist explorations of the human condition and French society. Jazz saxophonist and screenwriter, Manchette was also a left-wing activist influenced as much by the writings of the Situationist International as by Dashiell Hammett. Jean-Patrick Manchette’s Three to Kill as well as the movie tie-in The Gunman are also published by City Lights Publishers.