When Chandra visited Minnesota last year, we stumbled across this book. Obviously the title grabbed our attention and we decided we needed it for the buddy reading!
THE KILLER INSIDE ME – Jim Thompson (Originally Published in March 1952)
Another addition to the #bravethebacklist challenge!
Everyone in the small town of Central City, Texas loves Lou Ford. A deputy sheriff, Lou’s known to the small-time criminals, the real-estate entrepreneurs, and all of his coworkers–the low-lifes, the big-timers, and everyone in-between–as the nicest guy around. He may not be the brightest or the most interesting man in town, but nevertheless, he’s the kind of officer you’re happy to have keeping your streets safe. The sort of man you might even wish your daughter would end up with someday.
But behind the platitudes and glad-handing lurks a monster the likes of which few have seen. An urge that has already claimed multiple lives, and cost Lou his brother Mike, a self-sacrificing construction worker who fell to his death on the job in what was anything but an accident. A murder that Lou is determined to avenge–and if innocent people have to die in the process, well, that’s perfectly all right with him.
In The Killer Inside Me, Thompson goes where few novelists have dared to go, giving us a pitch-black glimpse into the mind of the American Serial Killer years before Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, and Brett Easton Ellis’s American Psycho, in the novel that will forever be known as the master performance of one of the greatest crime novelists of all time.
Chandra’s Thoughts: 2/5 stars
Welllllllllllllllllll, poop. I love the premise of this. We get a first person look at a Deputy Sheriff who is so wholesome on the outside but inside, there’s a killer within. Woo. Quite honestly, he doesn’t seem much different than some guys I’ve known – all frills, show and manipulation until he doesn’t get his way. Then KILL KILL KILL. And as a Deputy Sheriff, I expected him to not be so sloppy – I’m surprised at the messiness of it all. BUT then I have to remember this was written in the 50s and take that time period into consideration.
The thing is, I didn’t really feel creeped out by Lou. The synopsis alone states he’s not the brightest or most interesting man in town, but he certainly has a streak within that’s kinda fun to see come out once in a while. I did enjoy the writing style but over all, I found Lou to be pretty freakin’ boring. Or maybe I’ve just read way too many truly creepy books that I’m numb to the greatness that I’ve heard this one to be. Likely dark and a bit controversial for the time it’s written but for today’s chilling factor, it’s a bit luke warm.
My Thoughts: 2.5 stars
I am guilty of picking this one up because the title drew me in. When Chandra was visiting and we were unleashed in a bookstore, we picked up a couple copies. This came highly recommended from other reviewers and I was excited to start. THE KILLER INSIDE ME by Jim Thompson definitely kept my curiosity throughout – I was waiting to see what the build up would be and how it would end. We need to keep in mind that this was originally released in 1952, so some things are wildly different than what we would come to expect from a crime fiction novel.
Lou is the Deputy Sheriff and very unassuming and wholesome to those around him. The Deputy that doesn’t carry a gun because he believes he doesn’t need one with him. Well, I understand why, because he’s deadly all on his own. I was hoping to have a more sinister feel to the overall book, but like I had previously mentioned, I think that we’ve become so accustomed to how serial killer thriller unfolds. The manipulation is there but not to the levels I was anticipating. The investigations felt off, but again, written in 1952 when I’m sure all of this was easy to get away with.
I did enjoy parts and it was a really quick read. I’d be curious to see what others thought of this one!