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Run Like Crazy Run Like Hell

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After the teeth-rattling one-two punch of West Coast Bluesand Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot, Jacques Tardi makes a third appointment with ace crime writer Jean-Patrick Manchette for his wildest adaptation yet.

Peter Hartog, a rich industrialist, hires a troubled young woman, Julie, straight out of the psychiatric asylum to which she has been consigned for several years, to work as a nanny for his bratty kid Peter. But Hartog's seemingly altruistic impulse to help rehabilitate a troubled soul hides a darker motive: He plans to stage a fake kidnapping of his son, and use Julie as a scapegoat.

Unfortunately for Hartog, Julie proves infinitely more tough and resourceful than he expected, the kidnapping goes horribly, bloodily wrong, and now Julie and Peter are on the run, pursued both by the police and by Hartog's goons, led by the aging but fantastically dangerous contract killer Thompson — one of Manchette's most unforgettable creations, a golem of Terminator-like tenacity who is barely slowed down by physical punishment that would instantly kill a lesser man (he does not end the book with the same amount of eyes and feet as he started).

As with the other Tardi/Manchette books, Run Like Crazy... is full of moments of pitch-black humor, and a strong current of socio-political satire runs beneath its bleak surface. It's a ride to hell, but a devilishly fun one.


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