After Dark, My Sweet is one of the most coherent Thompson novels I've read. Filled with paranoia, booze, hard women, crime & treachery, ADMS is a compact punch that's set on stun. It differs from most Thompson tales in that there are no real throw away chapters. His mental aberrations don't hinder the storytelling, rather they enhance it. It's a short, exciting read that doesn't wander. Thompson didn't always color in the lines, but he sure did with this one. All of the characters are desperate, yet believable. There's Collie, an ex-pugilist & mental patient, Faye, a widowed alcoholic, and Uncle Bud, an ex-cop with no redeeming qualities. The only flaw in their well-planned crime is that they, themselves, are involved. This book reads like a super lightweight fight, you know...the little skinny guys that come out swinging for their lives at the bell and never stop until someone goes down. I've read many Jim Thompson books and I must say that only A Hell Of A Woman, The Killer Inside Me, & Now And On Earth surpass After Dark, My Sweet. A fast read with few flaws is hard to find, but this is certainly one such book. Thompson imitators always fail for one simple reason...they lack the ability to bring an element of genuine insanity to the noir landscape. There are no substitutes & this is one of the master's best efforts. There is also a decent movie adaptation starring Rachel Ward & Jason Patric, as well as Bruce Dern. Read the book first for, while the movie is good, the book is far superior. I am sorry that Jim had to suffer the demons that he did, but I am most thankful for the literary results!