The bullet is for George Higgins, who will do away with himself once he reads his latest imitator: here we are once more in the Boston Irish underworld, listening to thousands of lines of self-consciously ""naturalistic"" dialogue. Georgie McCabe, a 1962 teenage psycho, has gotten his buddies Jimmy and Mike drunk on wine, and the three of them set out to hit a small liquor store. But the job is a blowout, the store owner is killed, Jimmy wipes out an Italian cop, and he and Mike get life terms while Georgie escapes. Georgie sends a little money now and then to the boys in jail and to their relatives, hoping his two buddies won't squeal on him. Meanwhile, the cop brother of the Italian cop is a nervous wreck for the next twelve years, trying to chase down that elusive third man (Georgie) who has never been identified. And he's caring for his dead brother's wife and kids, and he's real angry: ""suddenly he was trembling, gnashing his teeth, pounding the padded dashboard with his fists, shouting at the top of his voice, 'Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!'"" You get the idea. When the cop finds out it's Georgie he's after, he arranges things so that both Mike and Georgie hire hit men to rub each other out. Loud and crude, but not without a certain raw power.