Jackie Cogan is an enforcer for the New England mob. When a high-stakes card game is heisted by unknown hoodlums, Cogan is called in to “handle” the problem. Moving expertly and ruthlessly among a variety of criminal hacks, hangers-on, and bigger-time crooks—a classic cast of misfits animated by Higgins’s hilarious, cracklingly authentic dialogue—Cogan gets to the root of the problem and, with five consecutive shots from a Smith & Wesson thirty-eight Police Special, restores order to his corner of the Boston underworld.
Combining his remarkable wit and a singular ability to show criminal life as it is lived, George V. Higgins builds an incredible story of crime to an unforgettable climax.
READ AN EXCERPT
AMATO IN A GRAY SUIT with a muted red stripe, textured pink shirt with his initials on the left French cuff, a maroon and gold tie, sat at the kidney-shaped, walnut veneer desk and stared. “I got to give it to you,” he said, “you’re a great-looking couple of guys. Come in here about four hours...
"Higgins can plot a whole book like one long chase scene. He can write dialogue so authentic it spits." —Life
"The Balzac of the Boston underworld. ... Higgins is almost uniquely blessed with a gift for voices, each of them ... as distinctive as a fingerprint."—The New Yorker
“One of the great crime writers of the twentieth century.” —Kansas City Star
“Higgins writes about the world of crime with an authenticity that is unmatched.” --The Washington Post
“A uniquely gifted writer . . . who does at least as well by the Hogarthian Boston he knows as Raymond Chandler once did for Southern California.” —The New York Times
"Superb. . . Higgins is a complete novelist. His work will be read when the work of competing writers has been forgotten."—Chicago Daily News
"Brilliant. . . Higgins is a master stylist."--New York Post
“George V. Higgins’s mastery of the patois of the Boston criminal class is legendary.” —San Jose Mercury News