Blackmailed by the Femme Fatale (Ad Men Book 4)

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  1. Blackmailed by the Femme Fatale (Ad Men)
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  4. Fatale by Jean-Patrick Manchette

He even admits to stalking her and wishing she were dead. In addition to her suspense writing, she was also a prolific translator of French literature. But one of her classmates doubts her confession and takes it upon herself to solve the murder. Following the Stock Market Crash of , she turned to suspense, eventually publishing 17 detective novels.

Canadian writer Margaret Millar initially studied music before marrying. While on bed rest for her first pregnancy, she began reading murder mystery novels and thought she could try it herself.

Blackmailed by the Femme Fatale (Ad Men)

Her first book, The Invisible Worm , was published in During her lifetime she worked as a screenwriter and published non-crime fiction in addition to her favorite genre. So why is it that nobody seems to know anything about his past, or how he came to assume his position as the most sought after executive on Madison Avenue?

Jon Sugar is not who he says he is — and when a strange woman hands his daughter a note for him containing the words "I know who you are," Jon realizes that everything he's worked so hard to build may be at risk. As he prepares to confront his mysterious blackmailer Jon looks back on the life of danger and intrigue that led him to where he is today. And when he finally meets the beautiful femme fatale holding his life to ransom, he discovers that she wants something more than he ever could have imagined. She wants Jon Sugar himself — in the flesh.

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Learn more about Carla Kane. Also by This Author. You don't look lazy. View all 13 comments. Aug 03, Algernon rated it really liked it Shelves: Well, it's the same as ever, isn't it? It seems slow, but actually it is quite fast. Sex always comes up first. And, then, last, come the old crimes. You have seen other towns, my sweet, and you'll see others, knock on wood. Bleville, according to Well, it's the same as ever, isn't it?

Bleville, according to the introduction to the novel, can be translated as "Dough Town", a prosperous, thriving place, at least on the surface. For the cynical Aimee it is a den of thieves, like all the other places she has visited lately, in her personal crusade against society's ills.

We get an inkling of her quest in the opening scenes of the novel, describing a hunting "accident" in another part of France, for which the girl was apparently well paid. A "femme fatale" in the noir canon is usually a seductress, leading men into ruin by her ambition and ruthlessness. Jean-Patrick Manchette is aiming a little higher than this basic definition when he sets out to revitalise the genre in the seventies.

Aimee is not above using her physical charms to make her way in society, but her motivations transcend the personal and veer into the political and the universal questions of modern existentialist angst. Behind her cool as ice appearance she is burning with outrage and with unresolved family issues. We get an inkling of what turned this young woman into a dangerous vigilante: I was an idiot, you see.

I lived with the guy for seven years. In the suburbs, back there. He slapped me about. I didn't feel anything. Two scenes stand out for me in her defense as a moral character: For such a short novel, "Fatale" hits hard and straight to the gut of the genre. I came across a James Sallis essay on the author that opens up with: Warn your children and the weak of heart. There is meat here.

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It's a stylish story, told in spare, emotionless short sentences, pared down to the essentials yet capturing the atmosphere and the key characters with razor sharp insight. The finale should satisfy the most exigent fans of action thrillers, with a set piece on a dark, empty dockyard worthy of Kurosawa or Sergio Leone Aimee is training in martial arts and can kick a lot of ass despite her slight build. Even though, the final scenes aim for the metaphorical rather than for the usual unmasking of the criminal elements and their motivations, hinting at the alienation of the individual and at the widespread corruption of the modern world.

Whichever way you go, there is a big hill to climb before you get out of Bleville Aimee climbs into the sunset view spoiler [ fatally wounded, wearing a bloodied white dress hide spoiler ] while the regular inhabitants of the town sleep peacefully, and the reader is left to decide for himself is she or us have a chance to escape from this French version of Sin City. The author mentions the circular road, the back and forth across the Atlantic, in the long lasting impression made by an American classic on his becoming a 'polareux': I hope I will make time for the rest of his novels being translated right now into English, and, why not, maybe even try a couple in the original French.

As a conclusion of my review and an added blurb advertisement I have saved another line from the James Sallis essay: For Manchette and for 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. Thanks go to the Pulp Fiction group here on Goodreads for picking this up as the monthly read. View all 3 comments. Mar 09, Melki rated it liked it Shelves: Much as I love it when bad things happen to rich people, I can only give this one three stars, and here's why.

Aimee has made a career of roaming from town to town, digging the dirt on the most illustrious citizens. She ingratiates herself into their inner circle, joining them at parties and picnics, becoming a friend and confidant, then using their dirty little secrets to take their money before heading on to the next venue. Her latest conquest, Bleville, seems ripe for the picking. As one Much as I love it when bad things happen to rich people, I can only give this one three stars, and here's why. As one resident proclaims, it is full of "Corruption, influence peddling, swindles of every stripe, sexual turpitude.

He's also longing to take down the rich and powerful. This has such a good premise and so much promise, but at ninety-two pages, the book is just too short.


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More character development and more treachery. I wish that Aimee had gotten more of a thrill out of messing with the townsfolk, much like a cat playing with its prey, but she was really doing it only for the the money. Imagine how much better, how much juicier, this would have been had she played some games with her prey, perhaps pitting them against each other, before fleecing them. Also problematic was the fact that her wealthy adversaries seemed to have no distinct personalities. They sort of existed as one bulbous, money-scented entity.

All of this leads to a fast and violent ending that seemed rather implausible and overly dramatic. Like watching some rich men arguing over who has the biggest penis, let's say. View all 6 comments. Mar 31, Hanneke rated it really liked it Recommended to Hanneke by: Monsieur Manchette wrote a French version of a noir crime novel that certainly is reminiscent of 'Black Wings has my Angel' by Elliott Chaze, which the afterword mentioned was indeed an eye opener for him to the genre at a young age.

Aimee, the ferocious killer of 'Fatale' gets her kicks by rubbing money notes all over her body just like the killer lady of 'Black Wings'.


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  6. The image is powerful in an attractive way, I guess, leaving our dangerous protagonist somehow vunerable when she is alone and Monsieur Manchette wrote a French version of a noir crime novel that certainly is reminiscent of 'Black Wings has my Angel' by Elliott Chaze, which the afterword mentioned was indeed an eye opener for him to the genre at a young age.

    The image is powerful in an attractive way, I guess, leaving our dangerous protagonist somehow vunerable when she is alone and unobserved. In my opinion, it cannot match up to 'Black Wings' or any of the American noir novels, but it has definitely an appealing charm in its own absurd way. View all 7 comments. Jun 17, Greg rated it really liked it Shelves: The other day someone asked for a french crime novel and he gave a bit of a plot synopsis that was just about the opposite of everything in this book, but it turned out that this was the book he was looking for.

    He wasn't my customer originally, but I was called in to help and I got it, because I'm sort of well read and have an idea of the books in the sections I work in lets see one of your brain-dead drones trained on ISO do that corporate brainiacs, oh wait it doesn't matter that I did that The other day someone asked for a french crime novel and he gave a bit of a plot synopsis that was just about the opposite of everything in this book, but it turned out that this was the book he was looking for.

    He wasn't my customer originally, but I was called in to help and I got it, because I'm sort of well read and have an idea of the books in the sections I work in lets see one of your brain-dead drones trained on ISO do that corporate brainiacs, oh wait it doesn't matter that I did that because it can't be quantified in a report. It's about a cold-hearted con-woman who gets into the lives of the upper-crust of small town society and then figures out a way to get their money and move on to another town. I was thinking three stars, because as I've stated in other reviews goodreads has mediated my reading to think about the books I've read in terms of how many stars I'll be giving, and sometimes what kind of review I'll read I'm sure there is more than one reviewer who spends some of their time while reading a book thinking of amusing pictures that will be used in a review , but then the book turns darker, or maybe it turns less political and it gets quite a bit better and the increase in quality in the last quarter of the book seemed to make the whole book better, it's not like it illuminated the first part of the book in some way that made the narrative seem like it was coyly holding back something, I can't actually put my finger on what I mean here, I'll just say that it made the 'Frenchness' of the novel work and not just be a quirk, or like a crime novel version of The Stranger which is a crime novel, technically.

    Actually this novel has quite a few affinities with the existential novel inspired by The Cure song, "Killing an Arab". There isn't a thing said in this review so far that really applies to the book. Or it does apply, but that would make you, the reader of this review and possible future consumer of this book know if this book is for you. Well, it took me a couple of hours at most to read it, so does it matter what I say? Give it a whirl, you'll waste less time than you will if you watch a "Real Housewives" marathon I've never watched an episode of any of those shows, but I imagine it relates in some way to this book, I could see the protagonist moving into the vapid lives of those women I'm assuming vapidity, and in Vegas I'd bet heavily that the shows are vapid even though I haven't watched them and figure out a way to rob them and possibly kill a husband or two so you should just go for it.

    Try reading the book! It's probably better than at least one of the big summer blockbusters and it will be cheaper and take less time to get through! All my cynicism aside, I liked this book. It didn't radically change my world or anything, and it wasn't my favorite crime novel ever, or my favorite French novel, but it was a solid good reading experience. And, thank you Ariel for getting a free copy of this for me from BEA!!! Aug 09, the gift rated it it was amazing Shelves: View all 4 comments. Apr 02, Jacob rated it really liked it Recommended to Jacob by: But something goes wrong--something goes very, very wrong--and a dash of crime turns into a heap of trouble.

    I'm always wary when NYRB Classics publishes slim novella-length books, wondering instead why they don't package a few shorter works together into a volume of more reasonable length. Leonardo Sciascia comes to mind. As for Jean-Patrick Manchette--well, I wondered at first, but changed my mind.

    At only 91 pages, Fatale packs a punch. Short, violent, packed with more story and character development than one might expect--and probably deeper and more meaningful than I realized the afterword by Jean Echenoz caused me to go back and reread several passages. Manchette wrote ten novels, and only three have been translated into English. I hope the other seven soon follow. Feb 07, David Carr rated it did not like it. I picked it up as a kind of palate cleanser before attempting some heavier items.

    At 20 pages, I put it down; then I picked it up again this afternoon, just to be able to write this review. It is not thrilling, not mysterious, not enticing, not smart, not ingenious. Second, but -- Mon Dieu!! But in French, with subtitles. Third, "inauthentic" is the word. Well, maybe "inartistic" and "amateurish" are other words.

    Fourth, the translator needed help, in order to avoid such passages as Where are you off to like that? Fifth, at 97 pages it is probably pages too long. But on a good note, everyone dies, fulfilling the reader's hopes in full.

    Fatale by Jean-Patrick Manchette

    But not soon enough to make the reading a completely satisfying experience. May 09, Toby rated it liked it Shelves: He's received glowing recommendations, not least in comparison to my other recent discovery from 70's noirville Derek Raymond but perhaps I started in the wrong place to be as enamouried of this book by Manchette, the master of the French roman noir as I was hoping. The pared now matter of fact prose means that at around 90 pages it's not as short as you might think, cramming a lot of the essentials in to as few words as possible.

    However I felt from the very beginning that there was something mi He's received glowing recommendations, not least in comparison to my other recent discovery from 70's noirville Derek Raymond but perhaps I started in the wrong place to be as enamouried of this book by Manchette, the master of the French roman noir as I was hoping. However I felt from the very beginning that there was something missing, intrigue and a little suspense perhaps, and another 30 pages to help with this wouldn't have gone amiss.

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    I'm a firm believer that a small novel can still be an amazing novel but in this instance I am sad to say that it is merely an interesting yet slightly disappointing introduction to an author who I hope to become better acquainted and on better terms too with sooner rather than later. Jun 02, Nate D rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Recommended to Nate D by: The unexceptional foregone conclusion of corruption.

    The back cover offers that Manchette considered crime novels "the great moral literature of our time", and so we get this bleak, perfect takedown of the terribly ordinary corruption and deficit of meaning of capitalist post-war society. As a kind of procedural of a passionless destroyer, it unfolds in succinct, crisp detail, revealing only what is needed, avoiding excessive movements until all is in place for total collapse.

    Though clearly a crime novel of a sort, it's also clearly metaphysicall The back cover offers that Manchette considered crime novels "the great moral literature of our time", and so we get this bleak, perfect takedown of the terribly ordinary corruption and deficit of meaning of capitalist post-war society. Though clearly a crime novel of a sort, it's also clearly metaphysically something far beyond such easy categorization.

    The last fifteen pages are among the most astonishing I've encountered all year. Oct 19, Jessica rated it really liked it Shelves: Some crime novels read like film noir The novella is taut. The ride is fascinating and increasingly over-the-top. Aimee is a killer, who first enmeshes her targets, the fat wealthy corrupt petty merchants and capitalists of Bleville, in a nicely drawn net knitted of their own corrupt machinations, and you're not sorry to see them knocked off.

    She he Some crime novels read like film noir She herself is fascinating: Which of course makes her more likeable, less cinematic.