Brewer, Gay. Laughing Like Hell: The Harrowing Satires of Jim Thompson. San Bernardino, Calif.: Borgo Press, 1996. Explores the use of humor in Thompson’s work and the relationship between satire and crime fiction.
Collins, Max Allan. Jim Thompson: The Killers Inside Him. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Fedora Press, 1983. Biography of Thompson by an equally famous author of hard-boiled and pulp crime fiction.
Horsley, Lee. The Noir Thriller. New York: Palgrave, 2001. Scholarly, theoretically informed study of the thriller genre. Uses Thompson extensively, covering a dozen of his novels, from Nothing More than Murder to Child of Rage.
McCauley, Michael J. Jim Thompson: Sleep with the Devil. New York: Mysterious Press, 1991. McCauley calls Thompson “America’s greatest noir writer” and endeavors to explain how he achieved that lofty status.
Pepper, Andrew. The Contemporary American Crime Novel: Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Class. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000. Examination of the representation and importance of various categories of identity in mainstream American crime fiction. Sheds light on Thompson’s work.
Polito, Robert. “Jim Thompson: Lost Writer.” In Fireworks: The Lost Writings of Jim Thompson. New York: Donald I. Fine, 1988. Discussion of unpublished and otherwise “lost” manuscripts and what they add to Thompson’s oeuvre.
Polito, Robert. Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995. Massive, comprehensive biography of Thompson, his work, and both his public and private lives. Bibliographic references and index.
Sallis, James. Difficult Lives: Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Chester Himes. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Gryphon Books, 1993. Brief monograph comparing the works of three hard-boiled writers.
Yarbrough, Trisha. “Jim Thompson’s Rural Pulp Fiction.” In Dark Alleys of Noir, edited by Jack O’Connell. Vashon Island, Wash.: Paradoxa, 2002. Looks at Thompson’s relatively unusual choice to set pulp tales outside the big city.