Nothing More Than Murder by Jim Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thompson's first noir novel and I really enjoyed the unfolding of the insurance scam and then the complete undoing of Joe Wilmot as his enemies start putting the pinch on him from every angle. Fantastic twist at the end, too. Thompson cleverly keeps the details of the scam from us readers early on, but does it in a way that creates a lot of tension: Joe and his wife Elizabeth talk about what they are doing in the quite realistic way that people do who know what the subject is and don't need to mention every detail. So we know they are up to something but not exactly what. Of course, it all comes out as the action unfolds. Really liked the snarky way the insurance investigator just keeps setting Wilmot up; those were good scenes. Not so good was the way Thompson drifted into Wilmot's back story throughout the last two thirds of the novel. It really didn't add anything to the story. There was also a lot of details about the movie house business, some of it was interesting, but that could have been trimmed down, too for a faster-paced story line.
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