A hardboiled debut as fresh and authentic as it is uncompromisingly ugly.
Mindless, desolate, and violent, South Boston is home to hookers, pushers, addicts, murderers, and Jack “Wacko” Curran. Sure, there’s a scattering of “citizens,” but real “Southies,” like Jack and his crackhead brother Kevin, don’t take them seriously. During especially dark moments, Jack acknowledges his own “insane” nihilism: “There was nothing normal about associating with killers, selling drugs, or sticking a gun in someone’s face. . . . But what was he supposed to do, be a sucker, get a job?” Most days, though, Marty Fallon, reigning king of racketeers, is on hand to keep life interesting. Nobody’s action—drugs, women, protection, gambling—turns a profit in South Boston without Marty collecting “the Fallon tax.” Convinced he’s a better man than Marty, Jack’s been looking for the kind of score that will supply tangible evidence, a big one that he can use, publicly and humiliatingly, for Fallon tax evasion. An armored truck comes his way stacked with money and rife with challenge. The plan is set, the heist goes down, and the message goes out to Marty, as volatile, ruthless, and certain of his own entitlements as Jack.
Pusher, cold-blooded killer, amoralist, and antihero, Jack has almost no redeeming qualities, but you won’t easily forget him.