Patrick Cosgrove used to think he'd do anything not to be a prisoner of Sandstone State Reformatory. Fifteen years on the inside for a victimless crime, under the care of a warden whose penchant for violence is legendarysurely nothing could be worse.
But when an unbelievably Samaritan act by a psychologist he's never met places Cosgrove in the care of Roland "Doc" Luther, Cosgrove's not so sure he hasn't traded the frying pan for the fire after all. On the one hand, Doc claims that Cosgrove owes him nothing, and seems at times like the most decent man alive. But at other times, Doc's potential for cruelty seems unimaginable. As it turns out, freedom's not as freeing as he thought it would beespecially when it might end up getting him killed.
|Publisher:||Little, Brown and Company|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Jim Thompson was born in Anadarko, Oklahoma. He began writing fiction at a very young age, selling his first story to True Detectivewhen he was only fourteen. Thompson eventually wrote twenty-nine novels, all but three of which were published as paperback originals. Thompson also co-wrote two screenplays (for the Stanley Kubrick films The Killing and Paths of Glory). Several of his novels have been filmed by American and French directors, resulting in classic noir including The Killer Inside Me (1952), After Dark My Sweet(1955), and The Grifters (1963).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Convict wins his parole in the custody of a shady psychologist turned lobbyist called "Doc" who showers him with favors. So obviously something is up. What does Doc really want? We don't find out until the end of the book, and it is a very weak ending indeed. But along the way, we are treated to a pretty good picture of a bunch of disreputable politicians not much different from the bulk of what we have today in our so-called democracy. And, unlike the first Thompson books I read, this one isn't so downbeat and nihilistic that it makes you depressed. It's a well-written, very quick read. It's a shame he couldn't come up with a better payoff.
Pat Cosgrove has served 15 years of a 10 years to life sentence in Sandstone prison for an armed robbery he committed when he was 18 years old. He can't get out without someone giving him a job. He writes to 200 people to try and get someone to go to the parole board with him so he can get a parole. Doc Luther, who he has never met, gives him that job, a car, new clothes and money. The only problem is, Doc Luther isn't the kind of guy who does things like that for anybody, especially not for someone he never met before. It's obvious that Doc has an angle he isn't telling Pat about and neither are any of Doc's partners. All Pat can do is be thankful he is out of Sandstone and wait to see what Doc has really gotten him out of prison for.Such is the paranoid, noose tightening world of Jim Thompson. Where everybody has an angle and everyone is slowly sinking into the quicksand of the life that losers live and where their dreams are just shortcuts to the next lower level of hell that they have been destined to reach from their birth. Except that in Recoil, Jim Thompson writes about his normal group of characters with their usual flawed decisions and underhanded dealings only to get to the last 10 pages of the book and gives the reader a happy ending. One that doesn't fit very well with the rest of what he has written in the book. I don't know if he ever had another happy ending or not, or why he decided to have one this time. Maybe he was auditioning for Hollywood to give him a job writing movies since he wasn't making a lot of money writing the pulp fiction paperbacks that he was so good at. He did move to Hollywood soon after this novel and did write screenplays for both the movies and TV. But this book is not one of his greats, though the things that made him great are very much in evidence here. It is definitely worth reading though for the happy ending that he doesn't try many more times that I'm aware of.