From the moment when Roy Dillon gets smacked in the stomach with a baseball bat, you know Things Are Not Going To Go Well in this noir classic. Dillon finds himself involved with his mistress, Moira, who tries to convince him to drop the small grifting and attempt a Big Con with her. Meanwhile Dillon’s mother, Lily (who works for the Mob), has her own plans for her wayward son. Jim Thompson is best known for The Killer Inside Me and A Swell-Looking Babe. But The Grifters offers insight into criminal minds that you won’t find in other noir fiction. Jim Thompson is a master of capturing the life of small-time criminals and this book is one of his best. The movie is pretty good, too.