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Book Review < Back

Hotel Harbour View

Credits: Written by Natsuo Sekikawa and Illustrated by Jiro Taniguchi
Publisher: Viz

Commentary

These are crime stories that might come to you while drinking malt whisky at 2 am...

A man, world-weary and resigned, checks into a hotel and spends his days there hanging out with a local hooker. His last fuck. His last drink. His last cigarette. Is he really a Yakuza tired of being on the run, enjoying his last days of life before an assassin arrives, or is he something else entirely?

In a grey, gloomy Paris, a Japanese hitwoman hesitates when faced with her latest target. Memories and broken hearts threaten her resolve to carry out the job. What is her connection to the target? And what does she need to be able to kill him?

Published before his series Benkei in New York, HOTEL HARBOUR VIEW shows artist Taniguchi experimenting with storytelling form, slowing down the pace to dwell on isolated moments and delve into the hidden corners of his characters' souls. The mood is fatalistic and slow-burning, rife with the smell of cigarette smoke and yesterday's perfume mixed with the cordite stench of gunpowder.

There's a sense of freewheeling improvisation before the final trap slams shut at the climax, with revelations that ambush the heart at the moment of death.

-- Adi Tantimedh

 
Adi Tantimedh is a screenwriter and filmmaker who writes comics when he has the time. He has recently completed JLA: The Age of Wonder for DC Comics, and written and directed Open House, a short film for Studio FP in Italy. His current projects include the forthcoming Blackshirt for Moonstone Books, Anna Passenger, a novel being serialised on Opi8.com, and various film and television projects.

 


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