Friday, March 26, 2010

The Getaway Man, by Andrew Vachss

(pb; 2003)

From the back cover:

"Eddie starts stealing cars long before he's old enough to get a license, driven by a force so compelling that he never questions, just obeys. After a series of false starts, interrupted by stays in juvenile institutions and a state prison term, Eddie's skills and loyalty attract the attention of J.C., a near-legendary hijacker. Eddie becomes the driver for J.C.'s ultra-professional crew. J.C., the master planner, is finally ready to pull off that one huge job every con dreams of. . the Retirement Score. But some roads have twists even a professional getaway man can't foresee. . ."


Noir doesn't get much leaner than this. A present-day homage to the noir of the Forties and Fifties, Vachss's prose is stripped down, its twists explosive (and often unexpected), and his characters multi-layered and fascinating.

A must-read for any crime fiction aficionado: this is one of the best noir novels I've read in a while.

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