Category Archives: Jim Thompson

Rural noir

CrimesRural crime fiction is big at the moment.

US authors like Daniel Woodrell (Winter’s Bone and The Outlaw Album) have been writing “country noir” for years. Arguably people like Jim Thompson did it for a long time before him.

And the sub-genre has caught on big time in Australia. Think about the popularity of books like Chris Womersley’s Bereft and Honey Brown’s The Good Daughter.

Now Woodrell and others have got some stiff competition from the latest country noir sensation, Frank Bill, whose book Crimes in Southern Indiana is getting rave reviews in the States and is now even available in selected book shops in Australia.

Make no mistake, the 17 stories in Bill’s book are gritty, nasty and raw.

The collection kicks off with ‘Hill Clan Cross’, about the consequences of a drug deal gone wrong. ‘Them Old Bones’, one of bleakest and, for my money, best pieces, depicts a man who whores his daughter to pay for the cancer treatments of his wife.

‘Beautiful Even in Death’ starts off with a man killing his mistress in cold blood when she threatens to reveal their relationship. It’s a spur of the moment act that unbeknownst to him has been witnessed by his son.

You get the picture.… Read more