The Killer Inside Me
This intelligently 1952 written story is given vitality and suspense by its author Jim Thompson, what one might think to be initially limited, by telling the story from the first person perspective of Lou Ford the viewer gets a much deeper insight into the structure of this chilling tale. Lou Ford the protagonist could be described as the pillar of the Texas community, of which he lives and is the deputy sheriff of the police force this fact makes the way Lou is contextualized, his character and job title even more sinister and thrilling in the construction of suspense and intrigue for the reader. What caught my eye in this novel on the first page is the set up although it is a know trick to writer’s that you must formulate and sustain a pictorial view in the mind’s eye of the reader, the writer does this ease and in a subtly canny way.
In response to a cafe worker who was concerned that a deputy sheriff like himself was not carrying a gun. His response is ‘Anyway, people are people, even when they’re a little misguided. You don’t hurt them, they won’t hurt you. They’ll listen to reason’. The irony of this keeps the reader within an appropriate naive mind set. The main character is a pretentious sociopath with sadistic desires, his battle with the past affects all areas of his present life in the book the way in which this character tells his story is matter of fact. And the social impact that this 1952 book must of had at the time must have been noticeable, the construction of the female where typical and unimportant the balancing of Lou’s sexual desire for Joyce and commitment to Amy Stanton does not distract him for covering his criminal tracks. It is clear at this time the writer did not want to make the book an intentional derogatory attack on women, but the ambiguity of Joyce’s character who no doubt plays a pivotal role in the plot leaves the reader to assume that she was a mere instrument and content instrument in fulfilling Lou’s desires. The book is not written to evoke copy cat violence, but the intensity of the filmed version The Killer inside me 2010 by Michael Winterbottom will add a small influence to the way that women are viewed. Having said that it is difficult for any reader or viewer to lose sight of the main character’s atrocious perception of the world and how he manipulated those around him.