Reviewed by TONY BAER:


JEAN-PATRICK MANCHETTE – Three to Kill. City Lights, paperback, 2002. Translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith. Also:  A French crime film released in 1980 as Trois hommes à abattre (Three Men to Kill), directed by Jacques Deray, starring Alain Delon with Dalila Di Lazzaro, based on the novel Le Petit Bleu de la côte ouest by Jean-Patrick Manchette.

   Georges Gerfaut is a middle sales manager for a tech firm. He’s doing pretty well, drives a Mercedes, has a pretty wife, nice kids.

   He’s driving home on the highway and comes upon single car accident. The man in the car is bleeding. Gerfaut makes a split second decision. Do I stop? Or do I mind my own business and keep going.

   He stops. He helps the injured driver into the back seat of the Mercedes and drops him off at the hospital.

   Then he goes home.

   What Gerfaut doesn’t know is that the man was not in a single car accident. Rather, the man was shot by hit men in a passing car.
Gerfaut takes his family on vacation at the beach. Once there, the assassins make an attempt on Gerfaut’s life, and try to drown him in the sea.

   Gerfault goes on the run and tries to figure out what the hell is going on.

   Once he gets his bearings and sees the score, there’s only three things to do. Kill the hitmen and the man who hired them. That makes three.

   A brisk, stylish, suave little thriller.