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A Hell of a Woman
Jim Thompson
Read by Thomas Kelly

Hachette Audio
March 1, 2012 / ASIN: B007FMZSUI
Mystery/Noir /Audiobook (Unabridged)/ 5 hours and 42 minutes

Reviewed by Jo Rogers

Dillon was a collection agent and salesman for a company he refers to only as "the store." The first one he collected from was a guy named Pete that none of the others seemed to be able to find. Dillon stopped by Pete's place of employment and showed Pete's boss the bill. The boss promptly paid up and was sending for Pete when Dillon left.

Next, he stopped by the home of one Mrs. Farrell on a straight sales call. Dillon opened up his sample case to sell her one of the many overpriced items the store carried. She seemed to like the silver plate flatware, but she refused to buy it. She said she didn't buy from peddlers. When he assured her he represented the store, she still refused to buy, but she told him to talk to her niece, Mona, whom she promptly called.

Mona was just a young girl, but she did like the silverware. If he could sell her the silverware for thirty-three dollars, with the thirty-eight he'd collected from Pete, he'd have had a good day already and it was still early. So, he followed her when she motioned for him to do so. She led him to her bedroom and stripped. Then, it hit him just how she planned to pay for the silverware! Things went quickly downhill from there.

This is a well-written story, with a good depression-era plot. The characters are believable for that time. Dillon is a crude man, so his speech is crude. The violence is not gory; it is just a detail of the mystery. The end is sudden and shocking. So, listen to A Hell of a Womanand prepare for a wild ride!

Reviewer's Note: Contains sex, violence, profanity
Reviewed 2012