The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson – Reviewed by Guy Portman
Twenty-nine-year-old Lou Ford is a Deputy Sheriff from the West Texas town of Central City. Lou, who is in a long-term relationship with childhood sweetheart Amy Stanton, is a hard-working, trustworthy, simple character with a keenness for clichés; at least this is how he is perceived to be by his community. In reality Lou is a sociopath with a dark secret that he has been hiding since childhood.
The story follows the highly intelligent, manipulative and cold-blooded psychopathic killer Lou. Written from the first-person perspective, the book offers a chilling yet compelling insight into the mind of a psychopath. A deranged, deeply disturbed mind capable of meticulous, deviant planning. A mind acutely aware of its sociopathic nature and sadomasochistic tendencies, but also on occasion prone to pithy and at times humorous observations about others.
The author both engrosses and disturbs the reader through the utilisation of realistic, simple prose, a raw writing style and an engaging plot. Widely acclaimed as something of a master of suspense, Thompson expertly escalates the tension with a quick moving plot and by providing only enough detail for context.
Unrelenting in its bleakness, pessimism and ruthlessness, The Killer Inside Me is a thought-provoking and suspenseful book that has transcended pulp fiction to become a widely acclaimed literary work.