When the easy cash from his California business starts to dry up, Hays Teale, who's already begun an informal course in burglary, allows his hot-wired wife Caitlin Hames to talk him into the fateful Big Heist--in this updated Asphalt Jungle. Caitlin's plan is simple: they'll kill Hays's partner, Evan Ruark, during a burglary at his place and rake in the $1.5 million his insurance will leave to the company. But the scheme has lots of complicated angles that require the assistance of Sonny Naull, the ex-con who's been taking them on burglaries just to give Caitlin something to do, and Merle Welcome, a Marine explosives expert just home from Desert Storm. Hays sets girlfriend Grace to bring Welcome into the fold as a bomb supplier and gets Sonny to blow the lid off Ruark's bejeweled safe, not telling either of them that he plans to kill Ruark too. But things get out of hand on the big night, leaving Ruark alive and dangerously in control of two formidable musclemen, and both Sonny and Welcome squiggling loose as free agents as Finch, letting himself out to full throttle after Sugarland (1991), joyfully piles on the ironies--like Sonny trying to fence those jewels to the guy Ruark's been buying them from for years, or Caitlin deciding that Hays's insurance would pay just as fat a premium as Ruark's. More double-crosses than Ross Thomas, more crooked angles than Elmore Leonard--and merrily amoral right down to the final payoff.