Sunday, January 01, 2012
George V. Higgins - The Friends of Eddie Coyle
Eddie Coyle is a small time, and fairly inept gangster. Facing jail for his part in a minor crime, he is offered a way out if he is prepared to tell the police about other, bigger crimes he knows of. Coyle is a small cog in a larger, wider criminal network. Amongst these acquaintances are gun-smugglers, murders and bank robbers.
The choice Eddie faces, which "friend" to sell out makes up the central part of the story. The problem is that the police want more, and once Eddie has begun the journey of selling out his friends, it is difficult to go back. The conclusion is not-unexpected, but at least the drama mounts and the story holds till the end.
I'm not sure that this really is "one of the greatest crime novels ever written". But it is fairly enjoyable and it'll keep you off the streets yourself for an hour or so.