Gresham’s little-remembered noir masterpiece deserves a whole new generation of readers, and Adam Sims’s dark performance is a marvelous way to reach them. The story begins in a carnival, which provides a narrator’s dream assortment of characters. Though some are unmistakably comic, Gresham’s vision is anything but lighthearted. His protagonist, Stanley Carlisle, is a mind reader cum spiritualist who preys on the lonely and despairing without recognizing the blackness at his own center. Sims is alive to the tragedy of Carlisle but never seeks to soften him. He coldly follows Carlisle on his unmerciful path—right to the devastating but inevitable end.