A financially strapped yuppie couple in Chicago stumbles on a big pile of cash and makes as many wrong decisions as possible while being chased by murderous thugs.
Tom and Anna Reed are the unsatisfied landlords living beyond their means in the latest from Sakey (At The City’s Edge, 2008, etc.). Exhausted, embittered and nearly broke from their hideously expensive efforts to conceive a child, the Reeds are desperate for a break. Responding to a smoke alarm shrieking in the downstairs tenant’s apartment of their overpriced two-flat, they find their creepy renter dead and nearly $400,000 in cash in his flour bin. The stash once belonged to an unnamed movie star with a world-famous smile who, while in the city to make a film, sought to buy a load of the latest and liveliest drugs, only to have both money and pharmaceuticals snatched from under his famous nose in the middle of the transaction by a gang of mostly hardened criminals, including the late tenant. The Reeds, acting on the same cinematic imperative that sends teenaged babysitters to check on that noise in the basement, decide to keep the money to rebuild their credit and their child-deprived lives. Anna takes a day off from work to pay the credit-card bills, and the newly rich couple enjoy a night out and some hot sex. Of course the dead guy’s chums come around looking for their hard-earned money; the ripped-off drug dealer wants his product back; and a hard-luck police detective starts finding holes in the Reeds' story. Recognizing immediately that they are up against ruthless criminals and determined policemen, do the Reeds cut their losses, fess up and go back to work, sadder but safer? Of course not. They’ve had a taste of life without debt, and it’s enough to encourage these “good people” to try to outfox the utterly ruthless villains who systematically destroy everything they own and promise to make mincemeat of the hapless ninnies.
Readers may root for the bad guys.