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Aimée Joubert is a drop-dead gorgeous femme fatale with a penchant for bloody murder. Ever on the lookout for opportunities for self-enrichment, she finds plenty to like as a newcomer to the detestable backwater town of Bléville: small-minded parochialism, self-interested parish politics, rampant corruption, dormant grudges, scandals just waiting to be uncovered - yes, there's a killing to be made here.
So Aimée starts to wreak her stylish mayhem on Bléville's despicable bourgeoisie. But just when she's ready to take them all to the cleaners, something snaps, and the master manipulator falls prey to her wayward passions.
A legend of the genre, Jean-Patrick Manchette transformed the modern crime thriller into something slick, chic and riotously enjoyable. A tornado of redemptive murder and a gleeful satire of small-town life, Fatale is Manchette's bloodiest, funniest and most brilliantly cathartic thriller yet.
First published in 1977, this masterful hit man narrative from Manchette (1942 1995) strips down and flips expectations, anticipating La Femme Nikita by several years. "For her stay in Bl ville, the young woman had chosen to call herself Aim e Joubert, and that is what I shall call her from now on," Manchette says of his female assassin, who "aside from her husband," as French author Jean Echenoz mentions in the afterword, "has already killed seven men, among them a factory owner, a stock breeder, and a doctor." Told in tight behaviorist language and laced with deadly black humor, this compact neo-noir follows Joubert as she steps much too far into her self-made career toward a showdown worthy of any action film. Written between Three to Kill and The Prone Gunman, Manchette's two books previously translated into English, this tense thriller should only add to his growing reputation in America.