“I don’t get out of bed for less than a murder. I don’t get out of bed much.”So begins Hannah Berry’s noir odyssey, a graphic novel in the muted tones of sepia, blue and grey, private investigator Fernandez Britten emotionally exhausted by the demands of clients whose lovers and spouses indulge in infidelity.
Bored with his profession, nicknamed Heartbreaker and accused of being French, the Ecuadorian has decided only to stir when more is at stake than deceit. So when the daughter of a wealthy publisher asks for a meeting to discuss her fiancé’s recent suicide, Britten agrees. Charlotte believes Berni Kudos would never have killed himself before their impending marriage.
Intrigued, Britten begins a search for the truth that will yield blackmail, revenge and murder, a complicated blend of selfish motives, broken promises and dark secrets. Accompanied by his acerbic companion, Brulightly - who is only ever revealed by the presence of a tea bag - Britten finds a web of purposeful deceit and violence, left finally with a bump on his head and the little finger on one hand amputated.
Unwilling to submit to threat, Britten doggedly persists, unraveling piece by piece the fragments of the past that led to Berni’s untimely death. From rain-washed streets where menacing strangers lurk to the quiet corridors of the Maughton estate, from a hospital file room to a secluded restaurant booth, Berry’s dark images imbue the graphic novel with menace and dread, the investigator’s dour mien unchanged from event to event.
From the sophisticated Charlotte to a gun-toting intruder in Berni’s flat, the story is peppered with eccentric characters, a devious plot hiding a painful secret. The pages filled with Britten’s haunted face and a series of unpredictable situations, this is noir fiction dressed in a fascinating costume, dark humor dressed to kill.