Jim Thompson is under appreciated. Aside from some bad amazon reviews (“He is a VERY poor man's Salinger…Call me a peasant but I didn't like Catcher either !” Huh?) there is very little information on this book. Written in 1952, when it must have been fairly groundbreaking and shocking, this is a real gritty noir pulp novel, complete with femme fatales, paranoia, and murder. It is, after all, written by a man who starved himself to death. The book itself goes insane (if you read the last chapter you know what I mean). Fortunately almost all of Thompson's books are available through Vintage Paperbacks, and this a great one to start with.