1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2008
Quite easily read in one sitting of a couple of hours this little story will grip your attention from start to finish. Not quite as good, to my mind, as the other book by Manchette available in English -- Three to Kill - it still knocks spots off a lot of the formulaic procedurals that are being served up by many crime writers. Lots of nasty things happen in the fairly short span of the novella but none of them are gratuitous to the plot or contrived. Perhaps the best thing to say about it to explain its appeal is that when it's over you'll probably want to read another one by Manchette. It is to be hoped that someone is even now working on translating some more of his books. Unfortunately, since he died not long after writing this one, the list of what can be translated is quite short.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
If, like me, you have read practically every detective novel published in English, it's a wonderful moment to discover a translated author from elsewhere who you can delve into. Manchette was a very influential French crime novelist, and having read this book I could see his influence upon Fred Vargas, one of my favourites.
Don't expect a conventional detective story read, though: Prone Gunman follows a single hitman figure, so it's more like John Le Carre than Agatha Christie - and has a similarly odd moral stance, too. But the book's curious atmosphere has stayed with me, and the story is beautifully and economically drawn. A terrific book, i thought.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2008
This is the first book I have read in 2 years and I have to say Ill be reading more of Jean Patrick Manchette. The book is easy to follow and moves at an acceptable pace, there's not much in the way of in-depth characters and as you would expect with a book of 155 pages there just isn't the room. The best thing about this book is it's easy to pick up where you left of and get back into the role of the hit man. All hale the Prone Gunman.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2010
I have come late to Patrick Manchette through losing a clipped review of this title, finding it and using Amazon to get it to me fast. I have not been disappointed, and in fact have enjoyed discovering a new author, a new noir style and a new avenue of foreign thriller writing that has augmented all my Swedish and italian authors. Manchette writes with not one unneccessary word, but with this brevity he offers panache and pace that others could do well to emulate. Brilliant!