Starred Review…(S)tylish and assured … Like Raymond Chandler, Nixon possesses a poet’s ear for the telling detail as well as the master’s gift of combining street-level realism with jaded romanticism.– Publishers Weekly
The Man Who Killed is a terrific noir novel set in Montreal in 1926, when Prohibition made millionaires out of bootleggers and Montreal was the beginning of a booze line into the United States. Mick is a one-named petty thug riding shotgun on a truck and that takes him into all the vice dens any reader can want; opium, prostitutes, jazz joints, even into the backstages behind Harry Houdini. Nixon, a former actor, painter, salesman and electrician, has a great eye for period detail and a solid grasp of the nuances of noir. This is a great weekend escape novel.
- The Globe and Mail
Who the hell is Fraser Nixon? Every Canlit aficionado should be shouting this from the rooftops.
Why? Because The Man Who Killed is an unqualified showstopper of a first novel.
It’s hard to imagine a more visceral evocation of time and place than the grim and grimy Gomorrah of the North that Nixon meticulously conjures into a blood-and bone character out of Prohibition-era Montreal.
Then he imbeds shoulder-rubbing portrayals of two B.C.-born war vets, now petty crooks — aimless, self-destructive Mick and diamond-studded “Gentleman” Jack — to power a seething neo-noir tale of booze-running, murder, betrayal and knuckle-bruising politics.
Oh, it’s a love story, too, and both Houdini and Babe Ruth come up to bat.
Now in Vancouver, Nixon has lived all over the country and has been an actor, painter, electrical apprentice and hotel night manager. He’s sold newspaper advertising, ice cream, opera tickets and men’s casual slacks.
- John Sullivan, Winnipeg Free Press
Right from page one, The Man Who Killed is a rip-roaring, page-turning thriller with characters who will first charm and then terrify you, a noir setting that is vividly and realistically depicted, and a story that gallops along to its inevitable but still powerful climax without ever pausing to take a breath…
Fans of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler will love this book, as will those who have enjoyed contemporary hard-boiled detective novels by authors such as Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly.
Just be warned: once you begin reading, don’t plan on going anywhere until you’re done — you’d need to be Houdini to escape this story’s grasp.Vancouver Author’s Debut As Thrilling as Houdini– Joe Wiebe, Vancouver Sun
Between old movies like The Roaring Twenties and the current TV series Boardwalk Empire, we’ve never been short on portrayals of the criminal demand created by Prohibition in the U.S. This debut novel by Vancouver’s Fraser Nixon portrays the criminal supply. Set in Montreal, 1926—a city as steeped in underworld glamour and grime as any at the time in North America—the first-person narrative follows a disgraced medical student into the world of cross-border booze smuggling. The language is clipped and quick on its feet, with all of the jaded poetry of noir. Due out in April.
– Notable Titles, Georgia Straight
Like Ellroy’s White Jazz, Nixon hotwires noir and takes it to places both great and strange, cruising a Prohibition-era Montreal every bit as dangerous as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. A mesmerizing read by a writer of enormous talent and insight.
- Michael Turner, author of Hard Core Logo