Another Review at MyShelf.Com

POP 1280
Read by John McLain
Jim Thompson

Hachette Audio
December 25, 2011 / ASIN: B006PXZG3M
Mystery/Noir / Audiobook (Unabridged) / Audio CD (MP3) / 6 hours, 49 minutes

Reviewed by Jo Rogers

Sheriff Nick Corey, who passed for law enforcement in Potts County, seemed to be your typical country bumpkin on the surface. But he was far from typical. He knew how to be friendly, spouted platitudes with the best of them and turned a blind eye to all the criminal activity the people of Potts County didn’t want seen. In a word, he was corrupt, very, very corrupt.

The local house of prostitution flourished under Corey’s “watchful” eye. He was even an occasional customer, the better to keep a close watch on things. Mostly, Corey slept with Rose, a woman oppressed by her husband. There was his wife, Myra, of course, but that relationship was in a perpetual state of war. They had slept in separate rooms for years. The biggest Problem was her mentally handicapped brother, Lenny, who annoyed everyone with his window peeping. But Nick Corey knew how to fix problems. And more than Myra and Lenny needed “fixing.” The election was coming up

This is one of Jim Thompson’s best stories, yet it is one of his darkest. Since Thompson’s father had been a sheriff, the reader wonders if the father was like Nick Corey or his opposite. The chief detractor is the language. Even by today’s standards it’s a bit much. By the standards of 1965, when the book was first published, it’s really rank. The sex and violence are very tame by some of today’s stuff, but is still a bit more than I like.

The plot, however, is beautifully done. His characters are perfect. Sadly, I’ve known people just like all of these. The level of corruption isn’t exaggerated, either. Give POP 1280 a listen and go on a dark journey.

Reviewer's Notes: Contains sex, violence, profanity

Reviewed 2012