Until recently, I’d never read the Friends of Eddie Coyle. Maybe you haven’t either? But maybe you don’t read the pulps and mysteries like me. So, maybe it’s not as odd, since this book is a classic of sorts, remarkable for its dialogue-focused narrative drive and spot-on look into Boston-area criminals, including the very-friendless and weaselish Eddie Coyle, and crime-fighters (not the caped kind of course). It took me a bit to get rolling with it just because it’s so much of a talking-scene-to-talking-scene affair, and you have to keep up with names to keep up with plot. But once you dig in, you dig in and feel completely a part of the life. Outside of the in the below quote, cause I’d never order a vodka Martini. But still . . .
At five minutes of six, Dave Foley escaped from the traffic on Route 128 and parked the Charger at the Red Coach Grille in Braintree. He went into the bar and took a table in the rear corner that allowed him to watch the door and the television set above the bar. He ordered a vodka Martini on the rocks with a twist.
–George V. Higgins, The Friends of Eddie Coyle
PS: There’s also a movie based on this book starring the mighty Robert Mitchum. But I haven’t seen it yet. Sadly.