The Bronx Kill

Peter Milligan, Author, James Romberger, Illustrator . DC/Vertigo Crime $19.99 (181p) ISBN 978-1-4012-1155-4

Just because a story seems familiar doesn’t mean it can’t still grip you by the collar and haul you right along with it, no questions asked. So it is with Milligan’s taut little cop-family gothic, where the solution to the story’s central mystery is perfectly obvious well before its reveal, but there is no attendant diminution in one’s enjoyment of the plot. Martin is a weak-kneed writer from a long line of New York cops whose most recent novel has been excoriated for being self-indulgently pretentious. Desperate for real-life material, he embarks on a lengthy research trip to Ireland. Not long after he’s back, his (weirdly understanding) wife disappears. That’s when the old family skeletons rattling around in the closet start making their presence known. Romberger’s overly sketchy art keeps the story minimal, and Milligan’s prose frequently veers toward the overheated (“my family’s labyrinthine past is full of ghosts”), particularly as Martin’s new novel starts mirroring the present. But this is prime pulp, with clockwork timing and mood to spare. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/04/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
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