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The Kill Off
Read by Robertson Dean, Coleen Mario
Jim Thompson

Hachette Audio
January 16, 2012 /ASIN: B006YUXQGU
Mystery / Noir / Audiobook (Unabridged)/ CDs / 7 hours, 43 minutes

Reviewed by Jo Rogers

In The Kill Off, Jim Thompson tells the story of a wealthy woman in her sixties, Luane Devore, who signed her own death warrant, so to speak. Her estate isn’t worth as much as it used to be, but there was enough to give Ralph Devore, Luane’s younger husband, and his girlfriend a fresh start in a place where they could find work. The dying resort island of Manduwoc no longer had enough work to support them, especially without Luane’s money.

To the rest of the island’s inhabitants, the death of Luane Devore would stop her life-ruining gossip. A lot of people wanted her dead and she knew it. She thought Ralph was plotting her murder, thought it enough to tell her “lawyer” her suspicions. He didn’t believe her, but said he’d check it out to shut her up. In fact, when he saw her again, he told her he quit. He had nothing to lose. She couldn’t pay him, he had no license. On the other hand, his reputation would gain a great lot of ground if he didn’t see her again. Most folks resented his association with Luane.

The story is told from several points of view, including that of the killer. It is interesting to hear each man or woman speak. It definitely gives a clearer picture of motives and the reasoning behind them. It also shows how hard Thompson worked to create his characters and make them alive.

Another big part of writing a good story is the plot. This one shines as a prime example of a job well done. The only detraction from this book is the constant use of profanity and the detail of the sex scene. Listen to The Kill Off and judge for yourself.

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