A riveting George V. Higgins masterpiece about Jerry Doherty and his trip to Vegas that puts him 18 grand in the hole.
Jerry "Digger" Doherty is an ex-con and proprietor of a workingman's Boston bar, who supplements his income with the occasional "odd job," like stealing live checks or picking up hot goods. His brother's a priest, his wife's a nag, and he has a deadly appetite for martinis and gambling. On a trip to Vegas, the Digger finds himself in the sights of a loan shark known as “the Greek.” Luckily--if you call it luck--the Digger has been let in on a little job that can turn his gambling debt into a profit, if only he can pull it off without getting himself killed.
“Digger is so real that the next time you order a drink from a bartender, you’ll look at him hard, wondering what he does on his days off.” (Los Angeles Times)
“Another bullseye for Higgins!” (The New York Times)
"Higgins is one hell of a writer." (Newsday)
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Dated and a bit dry
This may deserve a little better rating, but the book wasn't to my taste. I believe another reviewer stated that this is a story told through dialog. That's true and it's well done, but I listen to this kind of stuff for entertainment and the method of story telling limits action more than I realized it would. Another petty beef is that I need to have a character I like to really enjoy this kind of story, a tale like this is just grim if there isn't someone for me to root for, and I didn't find anyone that appealed to me.