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Bronx Kill HC [Hardcover]

Peter Milligan , James Romberger
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 24.99
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Book Description

March 23 2010 Vertigo Crime
Martin Keane is a literary writer whose second novel just received scathing reviews. He has a police officer father he can barely stand - a man who couldn't be more different from. But he decides to combine the two together for his next book, a historical cop thriller which he hopes will give him the chance to work through his family issues and cope with his past. Then, suddenly, Martin's wife disappears without a trace. And even as people start suspecting Martin himself might be responsible, he knows there's much more to it than that. He's sure there are clues to her abduction that he's overlooking, ones which can perhaps even
be found in the novel he's obsessively writing. As he and his father investigate his wife's disappearance, he'll find the truth is much more shocking than he thought - in a twist ending no one would ever dare guess.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like a Hitchcock movie April 2 2010
A big "Thank You" to Peter Milligan for writing this story.

After getting scathing reviews for his second novel, a young writer struggles to write a "good book" to regain the critics' praise he'd received for his first novel. Along the way, his wife mysteriously disappears. And so he looks for her. What happened to her? How did she disappear? What does this have to do with his family's history (read: secrets)?

The story is tight and keeps things moving. It flows naturally and nothing seems forced. The mystery is well executed, as are the reveals: some things you just don't see coming. True to Noir form, not everything is as it seems, and the good guys & the bad guys are not always who we think they are.

While it does the job for most of the book, occasionally the art could have been more polished. Some panels seem rushed. It's a minor complaint, as the art "issues" don't hamper the overall enjoyment of the story.

Bottom line: A tight mystery that could easily have been a Hitchcock movie, this book is a fine addition to a crime fiction lover's book shelf. Plus, at the online price of 15$ or so, you can't go wrong. Recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really a 3.5 book. Good but has it's flaws. March 18 2010
By Daddy Shawn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The story of "Bronx Kill" starts strong, then kind of slows to a crawl but ends with a punch. I enjoyed the writing but the pace was uneven. The dialogue is good for the most part; it's not excellent but acceptable. A lot of the lines come out forced, stilted. The ending was a good twist, but by the time it was revealed I had figured it out. But I wasn't looking for a shocking ending so "Bronx Kill" finished fine for me. I did have a big problem with the main character, sad to say but he annoyed me so much that I wasn't upset to see him get beaten to a pulp. Hard to feel much for the jerk except disdain.

The art does what it's supposed to. It's not going to floor you, I doubt anyone will see the interior art and say "Got to pick up." But it serves the story okay, so it works. If good art is a must for you, then I'd suggest you search out a page or two first to see if this is something you'd be able to finish.

I really haven't enjoyed the Vertigo Crime series as much as I was hoping but maybe my expectations were too high. I would say that "Bronx Kill" is probably one of the better titles so far. If you are a fan of the crime genre comics then I'd recommend reading Bronx Kill. If you're new the scene then you might want to check out something like Parker: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke first.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Milligan presents a well-crafted crime story... Feb. 22 2010
By S. Michael Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The Bronx Kill is the first truly successful entry in Vertigo's new manga-style crime series imprint, Vertigo Crime. This is most likely due to the fact that unlike the first two attempts, penned by popular novelists Ian Rankin and Jason Starr, the writing duties have been handed over to veteran comic book author Peter Milligan.

At first, Milligan seems like an odd choice for a crime story series, considering his notoriety for offbeat comic titles such as Shade the Changing Man and Animal Man. But he also has a lengthy history of strong storytelling with a dark edge, and he knows how to utilize the comic format to achieve the greatest possible effect. These are the skills that shine through in The Bronx Kill, and make it an engrossing (dare I say riveting?) read.

Most notable is Milligan's deft handling of the story-within-a-story device, in this case featured as the excerpts of the novel that main character Martin Keane is working on; a novel with themes and obstacles that mirror events in his own life. This kind of device can feel cheap and gimmicky when used improperly, as can when writers make their main characters authors, but with Milligan this is never a concern. While some might remark that the manuscript excerpts scattered throughout the graphic novel read more like a short story than a full-length historical crime novel, consideration for the time and space constraints of the comic format make this less a flaw in writing than a necessity of design. With that aside, Milligan's tale flows smoothly, and feels like much more than an exercise in plot-twists or a rehash of an old Law & Order rerun.

What really separates The Bronx Kill from the previous entries in this series is not only Milligan's experience with comic books, but his respect for the format; where the previous novelists seem to simplify for the comic audience (almost talking down to them), Milligan creates a level of complexity to the characters and plot that should be expected from any decent crime story. Let's hope that Vertigo Crime approaches more comic veterans in the future, and avoids trying to rack up crime-novelist celebrity credits in an effort to cross-advertise. Some more entries like The Bronx Kill, and this might become an imprint to keep an eye on.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and creepy Jan. 30 2010
By Shala Kerrigan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I wasn't really expecting to like this enough to give it 5 stars even though I enjoy Milligan's work.
As the blurb says, Martin is a novelist working hard on a new book that's different from what he's written in the past after the complete critical failure of his second novel. He's spent his whole life trying to escape his family and the expectations of his father and the legacy of being in a long line of cops.
He marries and his wife develops a strong interest in his family history, the same one he's trying to forget. He doesn't understand her fascination with it, but it does bring up new questions for him. Why did his grandmother leave when her son, Martin's father was just a baby? Then Erin disappears. Suddenly Martin is in a situation where he needs help from the cop father he's mostly tried to avoid.
The story is interspersed with snippits of the book that Martin is working on which offer a look into his mind and how he's interpreting emotionally the questions and answers. It all works well together and flowed together more smoothly than I would have expected. The art is gritty and suits the story.
It is Vertigo so it is dark and more appropriate for mature readers because of language and adult situations. I won't let my daughter read it but I am recommending it to my husband.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Film Noir without the Film March 30 2010
By MJS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
(This is the first graphic novel I've read in a long time so take my thoughts on it with a giant grain of salt.) If you remembered and loved the great film noir movies of the 40s and 50s then this noir heavy story will appeal to you. The story of a writer (a wimpy one, in my opinion) whose life is haunted by his uneasy relationship with his cop father and the story of his great-grandfather's unsolved murder on the shores of the Bronx Kill. The mystery isn't all that much of a mystery but this is more about atmosphere than whodunit. The characters are types rather than fleshed out believable people.

The art is minimalist, to be kind. If your standard of graphic novel art is, say, Neil Gaiman's Sandman then you're likely to be disappointed in this book. To me it felt more like the storyboard for a proposed movie than then illustrations of the of a graphic novel. The angles of view were more important than the details or expressions.

All in all, this is a somewhat entertaining book that neither transcends the genre nor represents the best of it. For film noir and some graphic novel fans.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tight, keeps you guessing, and takes chances... July 14 2010
By N. S. Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
...the Bronx Kill definitly pushed almost all my buttons when it came to story, character and resolution.

Throughout the entire piece, I couldn't help but be impressed just how often the storytelling and artwork were framed almost exactly how it would be as a film. Each panel was almost dead on with how I'd expect it on a screen, shot by shot. Seriously, a cinematographer could use it for storyboards in a heartbeat.

Then there's the story itself... noir-ish, while still keeping a modern crime drama tone, a thoughtfully plotted relationship with both ups and downs, and a generational-spanning family drama which not only serves as mythos and a red herring, but also fits deftly into the resolution of multiple tragedies.

And the art? Excellent! The only problem I ever had was in keeping track of the previous generation in their few frames of flashback when we learn about the first bronx kill.

Seriously, pick this book up if you have ANY interest in crime dramas... and someone ship a copy to every hip crime director we have.
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