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Small time America…a college student…organised crime – and murder. A brilliantly dark tale from the noir master
‘The best suspense writer going, bar none’ NEW YORK TIMES

‘My favorite crime novelist – often imitated but never duplicated’ Stephen King

‘The master of the American groin-kick novel’ VANITY FAIR

Under the guise of a college student, Carl Bigelow moves into a small town and into the life of Jake Winroy, a one-time crook who now plans to testify against an organised crime figure. The tricky thing is to kill Jake without making it look like a hit. But Jake’s wife is more than willing to help Carl with anything he requires…


Thompson is both a brilliant and an entirely uncompromising writer, and here, in the place of sentiment and salvation is the real and unflinching, bitter unravelling of the American dream
If Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Cornell Woolrich could have joined together in some ungodly union and produced a literary offspring, Jim Thompson would be it
Jim Thompson has more pistolero savvy than all the so-called great American Writers...Thompson was a hammer to their feather-dusters
Harlan Ellison
Jim Thompson, the great noir writer ... contributed greatly to the turn my music took around 1978-82. [These authors] brought out a sense of geography and the dark strain in my writing, broadened my horizons about what might be accomplished with a pop song and are still the cornerstone literally for what I try to accomplish today
Bruce Springsteen, NEW YORK TIMES
The best suspense writer going, bar none
My favorite crime novelist - often imitated but never duplicated
Stephen King
Like Clint Eastwood's pictures it's the stuff of rednecks, truckers, failures, psychopaths and professors ... one of the finest American writers and the most frightening, [Thompson] is on best terms with the devil. Read Jim Thompson and take a tour of hell
The master of the American groin-kick novel
The most hard-boiled of all the American writers of crime fiction