THE DOWNSIDE by Mike Cooper


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Introducing Finn, a one-named thief whose plans to go straight once his seven years in stir are up last only one night before he signs on for an elaborate new haul.

Wes Schiller, who runs Heart Pine Investments, isn’t the ideal employer for Finn. As one of only four other men who knew of Finn’s plans to rob an ore train, he may have been the informant who sent him to prison. But robbers can’t be choosers, and hours after learning that he’s cut off from the cash he stashed in a safe-deposit box that wasn’t as safe as he thought, Finn is listening to Wes’ pitch to break into a heavily fortified commodities vault in a New Jersey railroad yard that’s currently storing several tons of rhodium and swap it for the counterfeit rhodium Wes has recently and unwisely acquired. Neither conspirator notices the similarity of the scheme to the plot of Goldfinger (the movie, not the book), but Cooper (Full Ratchet, 2013, etc.) has plenty of twists of his own in reserve. To the crew who arranged the disastrous ore-train heist—Jake, Asher, Corman—Finn adds computer expert Nicola Juravik; Wes insists that all communications to him go through Emily Hale, the chief compliance officer who first picked up Finn when he was sprung; Finn schedules the job for New Year’s Eve, unaware that special railway agent David Keegan has plans of his own for that very night; and pesky logistical problems start to crop up. “Just once, I’d like something to go smooth,” complains one of the gang, prompting the reassurance: “There’s always a plan B.” The inevitable complications, missteps, and double crosses are met with ever more ingenious and desperate workarounds, many involving fresh felonies, side deals, and triple crosses, till you won’t know whom to root for or what difference it makes.

A taut caper whose high-tech trappings neatly complement its old-fashioned formula. Happy New Year.

Pub Date: Sept. 5th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-5040-4461-5
Page count: 300pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2017


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