After Dark, My Sweet by Jim Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kid Collins is a former boxer fresh out of the mental institution when he runs into alcoholic Fay Anderson and Uncle Bud, a two bit con man. Fay and Bud conspire to kidnap a wealthy couple's son and pin it on Collins. Too bad Collins is much craftier than he appears and paranoid to boot...
While I didn't enjoy After Dark, My Sweet as much as the other Thompson book I've read, Population 1280, it was still pretty good. Once again, Thompson's use of the unreliable narrator set me on edge. Collin's paranoia and hidden capacity for violence were well done, scarily so, much like Pop. 1280. I have a feeling Thompson was even crazier than his biography indicates. His writing is so far beyond that of his contemporaries it's scary.
While it wasn't the best crime story I've ever read, it's still a powerful read. Crime fans should pick it up.
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