The Bronx Kill (2009)


It’s like all the pain just gets handed on and on, ain’t it.


This original graphic novel comes from the short-lived Vertigo Crime imprint. It was written by the veteran British writer, Peter Milligan, and the black and white art was by James Romberger.

The derelict area around the Bronx Kill, a narrow strait in New York, holds a grim fascination for writer Martin Keane as it was the scene of his great-grandfather’s murder. As Martin struggles to write his third novel, his mysterious family history is echoed in the present when his wife leaves their apartment and disappears just like his grandmother did many years before abandoning his father as a baby. Martin is suspected of foul play, and murder when his wife’s body appears, and must find answers to the mystery in the events of the past.

A pretty good modern noir story from Milligan. He uses a lot of tropes – history repeating, lessons of the past not learned, mirroring of events in the draft pages of Martin’s latest novel – but he combines them well to produce a gripping narrative. The art by Romberger is suitably dark when it needs to be and has an indie sensibility that is refreshing from the books I normally read. Well worth a read for fans of crime stories.