Fantomas: The Corpse Who Kills (Solar Books - Solar Research Archive)

Fantômas: The Corpse Who Kills - Marcel Allain, Pierre Souvestre, Candice Black Fantômas strikes again! The third book in the series is as nail-bitingly good as its predecessors. At certain points of the narrative, I had to cover with my hand the lower parts of the page so that I wouldn't skip ahead to see what happened. Compulsive reading!Focussing mainly on the investigations made by the young journalist, Jérôme Fandor, into the a spate of terrible crimes, seemingly disparate but which he becomes increasingly convinced are linked by the agency of the terrible king of atrocity, Fantômas!Fantômas is a master of disguise whose identity and history are entirely unknown. Thus, any of the characters in the story, and possibly more than one, might be Fantômas. Like Holmes's arch-enemy, Professor Moriarty, Fantômas is the spider at the centre of a web of criminality, but unlike Moriarty, Fantômas is not above getting his own hands dirty. In fact, he seems to positively relish being personally involved in the crimes he's planned (robbery, murder, bombings, torture, mutilation, and is there an oblique allusion to rape?). Fantômas is not only a brilliantly ingenious strategist, he is also adept in hand-to-hand combat, an agile housebreaker and silent assassin. When not in disguise, his appearances are in the form of an athletic man dressed in form-fitting black and a hood showing only his piercing eyes: Fantômas the first European ninja!The whole of this story is set in Paris and it was fun to read along with Google Maps/Street View to hand so that I could follow Fandor's hunt through the fashionable boulevards and narrow twisting alleyways. Obviously, much has changed, but many of the streets and buildings mentioned still remain, silent witnesses to the hideous crimes of Fantômas.I do hope that more of the series appears in English translation.