The Big Get-even
Paul Di Filippo Blackstone Publishing (MARCH) Hardcover $26.99 (306pp), 978-1-5047-8391-0
In The Big Get-even, hard-boiled crime meets a crew of wise-cracking ex-cons.
Just out of prison for scamming clients and stealing millions, Glen Mcclinton is trying to adjust to a life of poverty and ignominy. He’s found a somewhat stable existence living with his gambling-addict uncle and supplementing his income with a stash of squirreled-away gold coins. But then he’s approached by Stan, an arsonist with a big plan.
Stan is familiar with Glen’s past—and the gold he’s hiding—and he makes Glen an offer he can’t refuse: help scam a rich speculator out of twenty million dollars; return to a life of riches. Glen agrees and is once again thrown into a life of lies, thwarting the authorities, and living on the seedy side. What he doesn’t expect is to develop relationships with Stan and the rest of the criminal crew or what they will mean for his future.
Fast-moving and funny, The Big Get-even is as much about its zany cast of ne’er-do-wells as it is about the intricate scam that Glen and his cronies embark on. Though each of them has a long history of getting up to no good, their wise-cracking ways and inevitably kind hearts are irresistible. As each stage of their plan unfolds, layers of each character are exposed and the bonds between them strengthen. This adds warmth to an otherwise hard-boiled story of revenge.
Glen’s voice permeates the book. His razorsharp observations of society and criminal life, paired with his dry humor, are the perfect accompaniment to the breakneck speed of the plot. Each chapter reveals a new wrinkle in the scheme and a character who could be either friend or foe, testing Glen’s instincts at each turn.
As amusing as it is tension filled, The Big Get-even is crime fiction at its best.