COGAN'S TRADE by George V. Higgins


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More like The Friends of Eddie Coyle without -- of course -- the novelty, and without the funnier moments or more extended characters of The Digger's Game -- this is about the friends and enemies (are there really any friends?) of Jackie Cogan whose trade is killing. All of them seem to be redundant particularly when they get to talking, worse yet -- thinking. Anyway a kid, Frankie, just out of the slammer, is hired by John Amato to hit Markie Trattman's poker game for fifty thousand bucks and after that Cogan moves in and Trattman gets whacked and finally Cogan gets a line on Frankie who is used to take care of Amato before. . . . The story is hard to divorce from its stunning vernacular (and of course occasional other activities -- getting stoned on paraldehyde or scouting tail) in which the f. . . letter word is really sacralized when it appears as an adjective, transitive and intransitive verb in one matchless line. No one has done aa much to vivify the underworld turf since W. R. Burnett -- it's onna ice like all those readers.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1974
Publisher: Knopf