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Porter Wren is a Manhattan tabloid writer with an appetite for scandal. On the beat he sells murder, tragedy, and anything that passes for the truth. At home, he is a dedicated husband and father. But when a seductive stranger asks him to dig into the unsolved murder of her husband, he is drawn into a very nasty case of sexual obsession and...
Porter Wren is a Manhattan tabloid writer with an appetite for scandal. On the beat he sells murder, tragedy, and anything that passes for the truth. At home, he is a dedicated husband and father. But when a seductive stranger asks him to dig into the unsolved murder of her husband, he is drawn into a very nasty case of sexual obsession and blackmail--one that threatens his job, his marriage, and his life.
Manhattan Nocturne is a brilliantly drawn tableau of the gritty, gaudy city, and a thrilling literary noir.
The author of Bodies Electric and Break and Enter takes the classic noir novel and elevates it into a literary portrait of a soul divided. A columnist for a New York tabloid finds the precarious balance of his life threatened by a woman who comes out of the Manhattan night to lure him with a promise he can't resist--a chance to see even deeper into the dark night of the city he is compelled to know.
Porter Wren, a tabloid columnist specializing in the human face of death, has climbed to success in part by subverting a real talent for exposing corruption in the city. He has two precious kids, and is married to one of New York's best surgeons, but none of that seems to matter when a beautiful woman approaches him at a party. He finds her mesmerizing and the story she tells of her husband, an acclaimed filmmaker whose body turned up in a building being demolished and whose murder remains unsolved, fascinating. Porter wants more of the story and of her; the next day she takes him to bed, then opens a trunk of tapes her husband left behind, videos that are clandestine scenes of real life and death. Told by his publisher (a ruthless Australian with a worldwide publishing empire built on tabloids—sound familiar?) to retrieve one that he finds compromising, Porter courts disaster when he can't locate it. He does find a tape of an NYPD officer being murdered, a case also unsolved, but he no sooner informs a friend on the force about it than he's beaten and the tape stolen by the publishers' goons. When his toddler is wounded by another intruder on the Aussie's payroll, Porter retaliates, tracking down the material so feared by his boss. In the process, however, he learns his lover's secret too, with a glimpse into her black heart that both ends their affair and binds them uncomfortably together in a lethal conspiracy of silence.
Sordid stuff sure to tickle any voyeur's fancy, written with skill and considerable visceral force—even if occasionally straying beyond the credible.
"A white-knuckle ride." --People
"Marvelous." --Publishers Weekly
"You're trapped by page two...this is the work of a powerful writer...with a powerful story."
-The Boston Globe
"[Harrison] spares no detail of sex and violence, imbuing every phrase with a visceral punch and a sardonic tone." -Chicago Tribune
" A smart, entertaining novel." --The Washington Post Book World
"Manhattan Nocturne soars."--The New York Times Book Review
"Truly thrilling."-Houston Chronicle
"One of the year's best."-Rocky Mountain News
"Mr. Harrison...has produced a thriller that seems to want to be equal parts of Raymond Chandler, William Styron and Tom Wolfe...These corollary aspirations generate some of the greatest pleasures in Mr. Harrison's novel, so that the same narrative that impresses us with its top-to-bottom knowledge of New York City fauna is also illuminating about the quiet acts of omission that irrevocably damage a marriage."-Entertainment Weekly
"With the narrative drive of a hurtling subway express, Harrison...plunges readers into a scary subterranean world in which the only comfort comes from the neon flashes of his prose."--People
"Marvelous...[Harrison's] prose brims with the anguish and joy, the guilt and regret of recklessness, of hundred's of the city's voices."-Publishers Weekly
"Mercilessly observed and heartbreakingly plotted, Manhattan Nocturne is totally enjoyable on all levels-the best piece of postmodern noir since James Ellroy's The Big Nowhere."
-David Foster Wallace
"A great, roaring story of power, lust, greed, and a very human folly that characterizes our preposterous millennium-told with compassion, intelligence, and striking human insight."
"Beautifully written and flawlessly structured. Manhattan Nocturne is compulsive reading."
"Something new is in the air; Colin Harrison has captured the subtle changes in the whole moral compass of America in this spellbinding thriller. Set deep in the heart of New York City's darkness, Manhattan Nocturne introduces one of the great femme fatales in modern literature. This is the best novel I've read in a long time."-Thom Jones
"Vivid...suspenseful...disturbing...Manhattan Nocturne is a fine novel, as notable for its richness of descriptions as its gripping suspense."-BookPage
"A brooding, erotic mystery thriller. Harrison offers up wonderful, stirring meditations of family, sex, love, and death."-Detroit Free Press
Posted March 30, 2004
If anyone had their life altered due to an affair this book rings true. It is written in gritty New York style which comes from the author's Brooklyn roots. The story is totally believable - older man fools himself into thinking an affair is more than it is and he can get out anytime he wants - but reality always prevails. It is a quick read, totally suspenseful and if you concentrate on some of the sentences out of context it is also quite humorous. A writing style mix between Pete Hamill and Jimmy Breslin. I cannot wait to read his other books!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 13, 2000
I listened to an abridged audiotape of this book and liked it from the beginning. The narrator was good and gave the story a kind of grittiness that makes you think of dark, foggy nights and footsteps in the dark. I found it very easy to visualize the scenes. The story was interesting (but not engrossing), and I liked the author's 'style.' The frankness in his writing surprised me, but didn't turn me off. You hear about so many affairs in real life, that the one that happens here isn't a shocker. I don't agree that it happened, but it didn't shock me that it did. The story was decent but not as engrossing as I expected due to the narration and author's style. Meaning, this sounded like a book that would grab you from the start and keep you on the edge of your seat, but it wasn't. It did grab me from the start, but it wasn't suspenseful or thrilling enough to have me on the edge of my seat. The ending was okay and the 'wrap-up' reminded me of the old detective noir stories. Again, the ending didn't lead up to a big bang full of excitement, but it wasn't bad. I would recommend the book but only in an audiotape version. Had I been reading it visually, I don't know that I would have gotten through it so quickly. But on audio, it was a nice 'read.'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 26, 2010
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Posted October 9, 2010
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Posted March 12, 2009
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