A hard-hitting, tour-de force tale of the mob and the man who makes sure their rules are the only rules, by the American master of crime George V. Higgins. Jackie Cogan is an enforcer for the New England mob. When a high-stakes card game is heisted by unknown hoodlums, Cogan is called in to “handle” the problem. Moving expertly and ruthlessly among a variety of criminal hacks, hangers-on, and bigger-time crooks—a classic cast of misfits animated by Higgins’s hilarious, cracklingly authentic dialogue—Cogan gets to the root of the problem and, with five consecutive shots from a Smith & Wesson thirty-eight Police Special, restores order to his corner of the Boston underworld. Combining his remarkable wit and a singular ability to show criminal life as it is lived, George V. Higgins builds an incredible story of crime to an unforgettable climax.