Margot Mifflin
April 19, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Killer Inside Me

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Jim Thompson
genre
Fiction,

We gave it a B-

Apart from the chilling monomania of its homicidal narrator, Lou Ford, The Killer Inside Me (first published in 1952) is an uneven Thompson excursion. The author exposes the killer at the start, then unravels his crimes and the ensuing police investigations, allowing himself plenty of room for his portrait of a psychopath. The problem is, there isn’t much subtlety to Ford’s moral psoriasis, and Thompson’s flimsy attempt to relate it to an episode of early sexual molestation is pretty wan stuff. And while the folksy dialect Ford affects to dupe the townies is a mordant touch, it creeps into the narrative and wears thin by the end. B-

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