Murder Me Dead

A couple weeks ago I visited my local library in order to find something outside my literary comfort zone. I ended up with David Lapham’s graphic novel Murder Me Dead, a love story and gritty crime thriller. It’s an homage to film noir that plays with the genre’s revelation of human dark sides with plenty of interesting twists thrown in.
The story followed Steven, a jazz musician-turned-resturanteur, through his grown-distant wife’s apparant suicide, suspician from his wife’s wealthy family that he had murdered her, a reunion with a woman from his past who had loved him and a series of manipulative tragedies. The relationship with Tara forms the core of the story and is surprisingly moving for such a stark genre, inspiring equal parts sorrow and appreciation of the love shared by Steven and Tara. This conflict of emotions and character behaviour enhanced the immersion I enjoyed in the book and was the true strength of the story, compelling me to keep turing the pages.
The art of this graphic novel was true to its film noir inspiration, minimalistic, shadowed and expressive in a manner that was both reserved and full of impact. I was most impressed by the characters’ facial and body expressions, which are among the strongest I’ve found in the comics medium. The book is a visual treat unlike most of what you’ll find among modern comics.
If you a fan of noir, a comics afficianado or just looking for a good read, Murder Me Dead is worth tracking down. You may be caught up in this harrowinf tale of love and murder and be thankfully dragged along. Just don’t be surprised if you shed a tear.

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