No Sale by Patrick Conrad

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



For Victor Cox, a professor of film history, the Hollywood films noirs of the 1940s and 1950s are more real than his daily life. When his wife is found drowned, Cox is the first murder suspect. He falls in love with a student who looks like the 1920s film star Louise Brooks, but she disappears at a Belgian seaside resort. Smeared in lipstick in their hotel room are the words "No Sale," the same words Elizabeth Taylor wrote on a mirror in Butterfield 8. Subsequently, a series of gruesome killings of young women, all modeled on violent deaths in films that he knows and loves, lead the police back to Cox, who starts to doubt his own sanity and innocence.

With its stylish writing, pointed references to cinema classics, and blend of horror and humor, this is a powerful psychological thriller. It won the Diamond Bullet Award, the Edgar Award for Belgium.

‘We all know about life imitating art, but what about novels imitating film—film noir in particular? Patrick Conrad’s No Sale (the words written in lipstick on a mirror by Gloria Wandrous, the Elizabeth Taylor character in Butterfield 8) is only the latest in a short list of crime fiction that draws on film noir for both plot and mood. It makes a peculiar kind of fictional sense that characters obsessed with film noir would find the worlds of the films they adore superimposed upon their personal lives. Make sure your subscription to Netflix is up-to-date before sampling this hypnotic novel.' Booklist

‘Imagine a metafiction serial-killer thriller written by Paul Auster on speed.When even the investigating cop sees himself as Dirty Harry, this amusing, teasing, film-crazy novel keeps you guessing through every reel.’ Crime Time

'Surprisingly zippy read which moves at a fair clip, the pace maintained by cinematic scene shifts and splashes of black humour. Who was it said that crime fiction in translation was never fun?
That was probably me.’ Shotsmag

Patrick Conrad, born in 1945 in Antwerp, is a Flemish poet, screenwriter, film director, and novelist. He lives in Provence, in the south of France. Limousine, a previous novel, is being made into a film with Kelsey Grammar, to be released in 2012.


About Patrick Conrad

See more books from this Author
Patrick Conrad: Patrick Conrad (Antwerp, 16 July 1945) is a Flemish poet, screenwriter and novelist, and one of the founders of The Pink Poets. He also directed about twenty movies for cinema and television, including – selected for the Cannes Festival – Mascara with Charlotte Rampling and Michael Sarazin.). He lives in Provence, in the south of France. In 2008, 'No Sale' won the Diamond Bullet Award. Jonathan Lynn: Jonathan Lynn is a Reuters correspondent and editor and studied translation at university. ‘No Sale’ is the first novel he has translated. He lives in London.
Published May 22, 2012 by Bitter Lemon Press. 274 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Arts & Photography, Travel. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for No Sale

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Things only get worse for him after his wife’s murder proves to be one of a series inspired by movies such as The Big Heat and Psycho, and he’s found to have known several of the victims.

Jun 25 2012 | Read Full Review of No Sale

The Bookbag

No Sale says true films noirs focused on people in the cinema, and more movie-based crime can be had with books such as Bloodthirsty by Marshall Karp.

Sep 08 2012 | Read Full Review of No Sale

City Book Review

This is a superb police procedural or mystery as we watch the investigation slowly link apparently random deaths into the work of a serial killer.

Oct 16 2012 | Read Full Review of No Sale

Reader Rating for No Sale

An aggregated and normalized score based on 7 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review