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Jim Thompson's classic The Grifters is one of the best novels ever written about the art of the con, an ingeniously crafted story of deception and betrayal that was the basis for the critically acclaimed film by Stephen Frears and Martin Scorcese.
To his friends, to his coworkers, and even to his mistress Moira, Roy Dillon is an honest hardworking salesman. He lives in a cheap hotel just within his pay bracket. He goes to work every day. He has hundreds of friends and associates who could attest to his good character.
Yet, hidden behind three gaudy clown paintings in Roy's pallid hotel room, sits fifty-two thousand dollars — the money Roy makes from his short cons, his "grifting." For years, Roy has effortlessly maintained control over his house-of-cards life — until the simplest con goes wrong, and he finds himself critically injured and at the mercy of the most dangerous woman he ever met: his own mother.
About the Author
Jim Thompson was born in Anadarko, Oklahoma. He began writing fiction at a very young age, selling his first story to True Detective when he was only fourteen. Thompson eventually wrote twenty-nine novels, all but three of which were published as paperback originals.
Thompson also co-wrote two screenplays (for the Stanley Kubrick films The Killing and Paths of Glory). Several of his novels have been filmed by American and French directors, resulting in classic noir including The Killer Inside Me (1952), After Dark My Sweet (1955), and The Grifters (1963).
"The best suspense writer going, bar none."—The New York Times
"My favorite crime novelist-often imitated but never duplicated."—Stephen King
"If Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Cornell Woolrich would have joined together in some ungodly union and produced a literary offspring, Jim Thompson would be it...His work...casts a dazzling light on the human condition."—Washington Post
"Like Clint Eastwood's pictures it's the stuff for rednecks, truckers, failures, psychopaths and professors ... one of the finest American writers and the most frightening, [Thompson] is on best terms with the devil. Read Jim Thompson and take a tour of hell."—The New Republic
"The master of the American groin-kick novel."—Vanity Fair
"The most hard-boiled of all the American writers of crime fiction."—Chicago Tribune