America doesn’t make spies like Jim Thompson anymore—if that’s what he was. No one could ever be quite sure. But CIA operatives and U.S. Army commanders were prominent among the steady stream of dinner guests at his sprawling teakwood house on Bangkok’s central canal in the early 1960s, together with European counts and countesses and such A-list celebrities as the Du Ponts and Truman Capote. People who came to Thompson’s house could often remember every detail of the evening years later, down to the crab soup and the type of mangoes that were served. Once you met Jim Thompson, visitors said, you never forgot him.