Wednesday, 26 August 2015
MAX ALLAN COLLINS - HARD CASH (1981)
Heist-man Nolan is enjoying his retirement from crime, running his own restaurant, when the president of a bank he robbed two years ago shows up with a blackmail demand. All Nolan has to do is rob the bank again--and play patsy to a sexy girl friend's murder scheme. Says the Atlanta Journal Constitution: "Collins has a gift for creating believable low-life characters." With a new Introduction by the author.
My fifth read in the eight book long Nolan series from Max Allan Collins. Published back in 1981 this was another fast, pacey and intriguing read.
Nolan thinks he's retired from bank-robbing, but he isn't. Old adversaries - the hilly billy Comforts are supposed to be dead, but they aren't. Nolan has been targeted from both ends but doesn't yet know it.
A blackmailing bank president with a hard-headed girlfriend on the side and a wife who's more interested in where her next drink is coming from, than paying a bit of attention to her wandering husband. George Rigley has been skimming to pay for his mistress and decides that Nolan's robbed his bank once, he can do it again on Rigley's terms. Rigley fails to appreciate that he's not the one calling the shots - that would be femme fatale, Julie. Julie wants status and money and a lifestyle to suit and has plans to get it one way or another.
"Come on Nolan. You know who's screwing us in the ear, and it isn't Rigley."
Nolan yawned again, then said, "Yeah you're right. It's the bitch doing it. Christ, you'd think getting screwed by her would be more fun."
Nolan and young sidekick, Jon buy into the scheme albeit reluctantly - do they have a choice? But with the recent violent death of another criminal associate, Breen at the hands of unknown assailants (Sam Comfort and surviving son) there's more going down than just a robbery.
There's a deceptive simplicity to the prose that kept me engaged in the story and turning the pages. Great characters, great dialogue, tremendous short scenes of of either action or just conversation.
Every box ticked.
Initially a 4, but the more I think about it, the more I liked it and the less to find fault with.
5 from 5.
The previous 4 were enjoyed and reviewed.
The next 3 are greatly anticipated! Scratch Fever, Spree and Mourn the Living.
Max Allan Collins has his website over here. He's on Twitter - @MaxAllanCollins
I bought my copy for Kindle a couple of years ago.