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Posted February 5, 2012
Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite
Jim Thompson was a prolific writer during his lifetime. Unfortunately, it was not until after his death that he obtained a large following. His novels fall into the category of mystery. I think I would call them mystery with a unique twist. His characters are often bizarre leaving you to wonder who are the good guys and who are the bad ones. Perhaps he hit on the truth . . . there are no good guys.
Thompson transports his readers to the 1940s. He shares the culture of the era. In "Nothing More Than Murder", the focus is on a slimy small town filled with venality, treachery, and immorality. In the novel Thompson introduces readers to Joe Wilmer, part-owner of a movie theater. He is egotistical and self-serving. He cared very little for others but he enjoyed being boss and having power. Jim Thompson’s murder mysteries are perplexing, to say the least. He throws in transitions, twists and misleading clues that keep the reader wondering what is next, what did he mean and how can this be solved. Thompson knows how to allow fear to slowly build. Few writers today can accomplish this the same way Thompson did. He also knew how to mislead readers and keep them disoriented. This was his natural style which worked well as pulp fiction. When you pick up a book by Jim Thompson you know there is going to be at least one murder. In this book everyone tries to use the murder to their own gain. I found a bit of humor as the aftermath of the murder brought out the greed in the citizens. When it comes to a Jim Thompson mystery readers seem to either love them or hate them. Many love the nostalgic look back to the past while others find it bewildering. We have come a long way from the old cinema culture
Posted March 18, 2013
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