Nabiel Kanan (4 stars)

The Drowners (Image)

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CRIME

The US has the crime comic market sewn up with titles such as Stray Bullets and 100 Bullets. But this London-set, noir-styled murder mystery draws fine comparison with its Transatlantic cousins. UK writer-artist Nabiel Kanan’s fourth graphic novel (his others include Exit and the Eisner Award nominated Lost Girl) exhibits the grit and wit one expects of the genre, but it’s elevated by a macabre storyline and some quite surreal plot twists.

Most notable among these is the apparent return from the dead of a woman who was drowned in the Thames following her romantic involvement with a dot.com media mogul. The lives of a number of other characters are sucked into the whirlpool created by the death of the beautiful and enigmatic Haley, but their relationship to the dead girl and the outcome of their post-mortem involvement with her are far from obvious.

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