The Bronx Kill - Peter Milligan and James Romberger

For the second Vertigo Crime release in a row, the luck of the Irish "? or rather, lack of it "? informs the sad, shocking story. No matter the nationality, I love this franchise. Every entry has been great in delivering grime 'n' grit.

Peter Milligan's "The Bronx Kill" is the fourth, and concerns a struggling novelist named Martin. His relationship with father is strained at best, in part because he chose not to follow the family footsteps in becoming a cop. His grandfather even died in the line of duty "? an event that returns to haunt the young man as he attempts to shift his writing toward a more marketable genre: the thriller. But what happens when his words start matching a murder? And one that may involve his own wife?

It's to Milligan's credit that I could not figure out the mystery for a good chunk of the book, even if all the clues are there. The storytelling is as strong as prose novels, but half the fun of Vertigo Crime's offerings lies in the art, and James Romberger employs a rough style that comes off almost purposely unfinished. Whatever the case, it works, and the absence of color and the predominance of gray emphasize the noir elements.

Next up is April's "Area 10," from telewriter Christos N. Gage. And then? Hopefully many, many, many more. "?Rod Lott

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