POP.1280 by Jim Thompson

POP.1280 by Jim Thompson — Reviewed by Guy Portman

Sheriff Nick Corey’s problems are mounting. There are the troublesome pimps, the nagging wife and mistress, and the forthcoming election that could see him replaced as sheriff. Intent on avoiding conflict at all costs, the seemingly slow-witted and apologetic Nick appears incapable of finding solutions. But unbeknown to those around him behind his façade lurks a devious, ruthless and highly manipulative man.

Set in a sordid, rural Texas backwater, POP.1280 is a first person work of noir fiction that contains killings, a plethora of coarse characters, a psychopathic protagonist, and an effective pulp prose style.

Whilst this seedy, quick read is relatively engaging, it does not compare favourably to the remarkably similar though more sinister and superior The Killer Inside Me by the same author. Another criticism was the rather abrupt and unsatisfactory ending.

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