Ciudad de noche

Combine gritty noir writing and art with a compelling tale of violence against women in a grimy barrio just south of the border, and you’ve got this new graphic novel from Vertigo. Jack Cohen has fallen from P.I. to alarm salesman—quite a step down in the security field—when Paloma Flores, a women’s advocate, approaches him to help her uncover the people behind a string of mutilated women’s bodies. In the grand tradition of great noir films, the investigation leads them on a wild ride, with social, political and economic elements. Oh, and yeah, there’s the usual sick sexual twist involved, too—it is a comic book for adults, after all. Noche Roja is Chinatown meets Ciudad Juárez and it’s the best recent literary work to address the problems of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the maquiladoras, and the way that economic injustice falls more heavily on the bodies of poor women.