Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The Friends of Eddie Coyle by, George V. Higgins
Eddie Coyle is a gunrunner facing prison time for a job that went wrong in New Hampshire. Jackie Brown is a younger gunrunner who can get you anything you need, including machine guns. And somebody out there has put together a highly skilled crew that’s knocking off banks.
If the plot description sounds light and a little loose, that’s probably because the plot of the book is. But, you don’t read “Friends of Eddie Coyle” for the plot. You read it for the pitch-perfect characters and dialogue that crackles like logs on a fire. Touted by critics and authors (such as Elmore Leonard) alike as the best crime book ever written, “Colye” offers some of the most realistic dialogue ever committed to paper.
A quick and satisfying read, author George V. Higgins drops the reader in the middle of a scene and makes him figure things out for himself. As with many crime books, there are twists along the way, but these twists arrive organically. Instead of double crosses for profit or revenge, the majority of the double crosses are perpetrated by a character wanting to save his/her own skin.
Don’t go into the book expecting lots of flowery, descriptive language. Higgins let his characters tell the story, and they tell it through their dialogue.