Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

The Killer Inside Me

The Killer Inside Me: Jim Thompson, September 21—25, 2016

My rating: ♦♦♦◊◊

thekillerinsidemeJim Thompson has arguably turned literature on its head with his 1952 novel, narrated by murdering deputy sheriff Lou Ford.

Lou regularly cheats on his girlfriend Amy with a prostitute named Joyce, in an effort to purge his sadomasochistic tendencies which he refers to as “the sickness“. However, his compulsions escalate into cold-blooded murder, and Lou attempts to conceal both his crimes and nature from his colleagues and fellow townsmen.

Lou is neither sympathetic nor antagonistic and it’s that which makes The Killer Inside Me unforgivably bland. He’s not a good guy gone bad that you find yourself rooting for, but neither does he embody the psychosis of Patrick Bateman. He doesn’t really do anything. His greatest strength is his backstory, which is a solid 6-and-a-half out of ten in terms of interest and consequence.

Without connecting to any of the characters, it all falls to the plot to keep you standing. County district attorney Howard Hendricks has suspicions about Ford from the get-go. He can’t go after Ford without significant evidence, and the intellectual sparring between Hendricks and Ford is one of the most interesting elements of the book. It’s a game of chicken that Sheriff Bob Maples tries to avoid getting involved in.

Despite building some tension and covert suspicion, the changes in situation are abrupt and, for the most part, quite unexplained. Ford needs to be badder, and his colleagues more subtle. It’s a disappointing read that would be much improved with some colour and grit that is sadly lacking.


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This entry was posted on September 25, 2016 by in 3 star and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare