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Man Who Killed, The: A Novel Paperback – Apr 8 2011

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"Like Ellroy's White Jazz, Nixon hotwires noir and takes it to places both great and strange, cruising a Prohibition era Montreal every bit as dangerous as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. A mesmerizing read by a writer of enormous talent and insight." (Michael Turner 2010-12-01)

"The language is clipped and quick on its feet, with all of the jaded poetry of noir." (Georgia Straight 2011-03-17)

"Though Mick plays the central role in the text, in many ways it is the city that is the most interesting character. Through the language and various references, Nixon goes out of his way to offer as much immersion into Montreal of the 1920s as he allows the city to come to life, in all its gruesome glory." (BC Bookworld 2011-04-12)

"Nixon evokes a jazz-era Montreal to effect, but injects the scenes with the sinister. Caught in the murky territory of gangsters and prostitutes, this Jekyll-Hyde tale for the rum-running set is murky with guns, government corruption, drug money and self-justifications for thievery and murder...Nixon manages to provide a portrait of an emerging nation in this dark yarn, politicizing his gangster tale with a conception of a budding nation on the cusp of its own identity crisis, 'the fair-haired child of the Empire' who flirts with the evil underbelly of civilization. " (Telegraph-Journal 2011-04-23)

"The Man Who Killed is a rip-roaring, page-turning thriller with characters who will first charm and then terrify you, a noir setting that is vividly and realistically depicted, and a story that gallops along to its inevitable but still powerful climax without ever pausing to take a breath...Just be warned: once you begin reading, don't plan on going anywhere until you're done -- you'd need to be Houdini to escape this story's grasp." (Vancouver Sun 2011-04-23)

"The Man Who Killed is an unqualified showstopper of a first novel. It's hard to imagine a more visceral evocation of time and place than the grim and grimy Gomorrah of the North that Nixon meticulously conjures into a blood-and-bone character out of Prohibition-era Montreal...A seething neo-noir tale of booze-running, murder, betrayal and knuckle-bruising politics." (Winnipeg Free Press 2011-05-14)

"The Man Who Killed is a terrific noir novel...Nixon, a former actor, painter, salesman and electrician, has a great eye for period detail and a solid grasp of the nuances of noir. This is a great weekend escape novel." (Globe & Mail 2011-05-26)

"There's Houdini, and the King-Byng, and boozejackings, unfolding through a most inviting narrative haze. The novel remains artificial, a guilty, playful treat, but Nixon has well-tuned comic ear and generic stamina, and The Man Who Killed is enough to make us look forward to his next." (Rover: Montreal Arts Uncovered 2011-07-24)

"A stylish riff on sophisticated film noir posters of the early 1940's...It is an impressive feat to get a largely balck-and-white cover approved in a time when the refrain most often heard is, 'More colour, please!'"

(Quill & Quire 2011-12-01)

"...stylish and assured....Like Raymond Chandler, Nixon possesses a poet's ear for the telling detail as well as the master's gift of combining street-level realism with jaded romanticism." (Starred Review) (Publishers Weekly 2012-01-13)

"Fraser Nixon's debut novel is a fast, sharp piece of the subtlty of Nixon's examination of the consequences of violence, the meticulousness of the plot, and the beauty of the language The Man Who Killed is as literary as anything out there." (Emily St. John Mandel The Millions 2012-01-19)

"Nixon seems to have created his own argot for the novel, filling the book with inventive slang...and self-consciously wry dialogue. But he gets away with it because the story is told in the first person, and Mick's charismatic persona makes the lingo breathe...Nixon's highly creative presentation elevates it several notches. An agreeable mixture of noir, historical fiction, and style." (Booklist 2012-01-12)

About the Author

Fraser Nixon was born on the West Coast and has lived in Montreal, Toronto, Paris and Vancouver. By turns an actor, painter, electrical apprentice and hotel night manager, he has worked as a salesman of newspaper advertising, ice cream, opera tickets and men's casual slacks. The Man Who Killed is his first novel.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
Get on the Trolley March 26 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
There is nothing better than a neo-noir novel that can hold its liquor. Set in the rough-and-tough town of Montreal in this prohibition-era book that follows the trials of Mick. Mick takes up a job as a rum runner, braving to cross the border to bring booze to the States. Mick's life is now open to the pleasures, vices, and glamour of being on the wrong side of the law. The book is a great new take on the idea of noir, that doesn't forget its roots in the process.

There are some great surprises and twists that I will try not to ruin. The book is overall very dark and clever and is able to keep that tone, while keeping the reader interested in the characters. The book's weakest point is the dialogue, which can be very important in a tale like this. Every so often, the world created by Fraser Nixon shatters when his characters speak. It is as if they don't fit in with the world around them. I found the plot to be the highlight of the book. There was enough going on that it didn't feel jammed or too light, but just right. This is a dark and fun book that is sure to become a great addition to the genre of noir.

*Originally published for San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review*
Prohibition Montreal, I'm in. March 29 2015
By E - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I picked this book up a whim at my library and was quite intrigued by the premise, as prohibition in Montreal is barely mentioned anywhere in the collective imagination of gangsters. The main character despite his outlook becomes somewhat sympathetic as his past is revealed although I really appreciated the narrative cementing him more on the anti side of antihero. There are some very interesting views on Canadian culture and the effects of being a "second hand" nation that are given by the main character surviving in another adopted country. The novel was a fun and fast read that makes you wanna seek out a bottle of Crown Royal and dig through your grandparents jazz collection.