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A crime masterpiece brought back into print - and transformed into the major film, Killing Them Softly, starring Brad Pitt. Jackie Cogan doesn't advertise what he does. But when the New England mob have a mess they need cleared up, they know who to call. Markie Trattman runs a high-stakes card-game under their protection. When the game gets raided by a couple of no-name hoodlums, Jackie's out of pocket. Unless of course he set up the heist himself. Either way the mob's got a problem. To restore credibility and keep things running smooth, they need to find out who's behind the heist - and then justice must be seen to be done. Which is where Jackie comes in. The trouble is, this is one game with a lot of players, including an out-of-town hitman, a sleazy attorney, a professional dog-stealer, and enough hoods, hangers-on and high-rollers to really make Jackie earn his dough. Filmed as Killing Them Softly.
Now a Major Motion Picture Starring Brad Pitt Jackie Cogan is an enforcer for the 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 underworld.
Review “Higgins deserves to stand in the company of the likes of Chandler and Hammett as one of the true innovators in crime fiction.” —Scott Turow "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 From the Trade Paperback edition. Product Description A hard-hitting, tour de force tale of the mob and the man who makes sure their rules are the only rules, by the American master of crime George V. Higgins. Jackie Cogan is an enforcer, and when the mob's rules get broken, Cogan is called in to take care of business. This time a high-stakes card game has been held up by an unknown gang of thugs. Calculating, ruthless, businesslike, and with a shrewd sense of other people's weaknesses, Cogan plies his trade, moving among a variety of hoods, hangers-on, and big-timers, tracking those responsible, and returning "law and order" to the lawless Boston underworld. Combining remarkable wit, crackling dialogue, 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.
Best known for his popular crime fiction, Boston novelist George V. Higgins (1939-1999) should stand among the top ranks of the American literary canon. In his 26 novels and dozens of short stories, Higgins chronicled the lives of Boston's Irish with his trademark hard-boiled dialog, exploring the criminal underworld, American democracy, Boston politics, personal redemption and New England life in the tradition of Hawthorne and Thoreau. This intimate biography explores his turbulent life and career, including his working-class Irish Catholic roots, his two stormy marriages, his ambivalence toward the city of his birth, his passion for the limelight, and his drinking, which disrupted his family life and led to his early death at age 59. Discussions of Higgins's individual works and excerpts from his correspondence, writings, and thoughts on literature complete this revealing portrait.
Jerry "Digger" Doherty is an ex-con and proprietor of a workingman's Boston bar, who supplements his income with the occasional "odd job," like stealing live checks and picking up hot goods. His brother’s a priest, his wife’s a nag, and he’s got a deadly appetite for martinis and gambling. But when the Digger looses eighteen grand in borrowed money on a trip to Vegas, he quickly finds himself in the sights of mob loneshark “the Greek,” who will have to make the Digger pay up one way or another. Luckily—if you call it luck—the Digger has been let in on a little job that can turn his gambling debt into a profit, as long as he can pull it off without getting killed.
This fascinating book probes the origins of mass-market series of literary 'classics'. Highly informative about the book trade in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Bonnell's study is also rich in details about book illustration, copyright law, canon formation, consumer culture, and the history of reading.

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