The Friends of Eddie Coyle
The Pequod Review:
George V. Higgins (1939-1999) was a former U.S attorney and deputy Massachusetts assistant attorney general, which positioned him well to write this superb crime novel set in Boston. The story centers on the title character (Eddie Coyle), a low-level criminal in the Boston underworld who becomes an informant in order to avoid prison. The book’s characters and conversations are highly realistic, based no doubt on real individuals Higgins encountered on the job, and the cops are nearly as dishonorable as the criminals. While the plot is somewhat undeveloped, Higgins knows his characters well and writes some of the best dialogue that has ever appeared in an American crime novel.