Luane Devore is about to be murdered. It's her favorite topic of conversation. Just who will do the murdering is anybody's guess. It could be the young husband she keeps in bizarre servitude. Or the distinguished doctor with an ugly secret in his past. Or any of the half-dozen other people whose reputations have been blighted by Luane's malicious gossip. It's only a matter of time.In The Kill-Off, the patron saint of American noir reconfigures the whodunnit as a wickedly ingenious who'll-do-it. Capturing the subterranean ambitions, jealousies, and hatreds of a decaying beach resort and orchestrating the voices of one perfect victim and a chorus of soon-to-be-suspects, Jim Thompson produces a novel that manages to be simultaneously funny, poignant, and terrifying -- and that offers shockingly persuasive evidence that any one of us could commit murder.
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December 25, 2011
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