söndag 10 april 2016


I really like crime thrillers and crime fiction. Among my favourte writers are Elmore Leonard, Richard Stark and Dennis Lehane.

Then there is that little book I got wind of after watching the very last episode of Justified in which U.S marshal Raylan Givens  hands over a copy of The friends of Eddie Coyle to his partner Tim.

As I´d never heard of it before I decided to check up on the book and see what is what.

Written by George V Higgins, the crime story is told mostly through dialogue and does a very good job of describing the inner workings, machinations and causalities of being a low life criminal. It is a terrible way of life. The "friends" you have can turn on you in just a moment to save their own skin.

I think this notion was what made Higgins novel resonate and become such an important canon of crime fiction. The no-nonsense, un sentimental depiction of crime as  how things can play out if you are unlucky.

For the protagonist, nothing goes as planned, he tries to get himself out of a situation he gotten himself into, but fail to see his own undoing. There is tragedy in that.
I think this was what inspired Elmore Leonard into creating his psychotic goofballs.That mentality of; "it´s not my fault" even though they clearly have only themselves to blame fo rthe shit they get tmemsleves into. A more psychologically believable portrayal  of small time criminals behaviour.

Eddie gets no sentimental empathy neither from its author (Higgins)  or the film´s director Peter Yates (Bullitt) and there lies both the tragedy. The objective portrayal of a criminal, that is easy to like and understand, but he only has himself to blame for his predicament.

I can´t recommend The friends of Eddie Coyle enough.  Whether you choose to read the novel or watch the film you are in for a treat. Written by an author at his peak and directed by a filmmaker at his peak makes for a tremendous work of crime fiction to digest either verbally or visually.

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