The Getaway – 4/5 Stars
If you haven’t read any Jim Thompson before, I think you should, and this might be a solid place to start. Things you generally need to know is that his books tend to be more brutal than you might expect. Plenty of thriller and suspense books don’t “pull punches” but rather than simply not pulling punches, his books follow through on the punches, so there’s often a slight extra layer of brutality worked in. They feel quite a bit more contemporary in this way.
We start this book off with Doc McCoy starting a bank job (one planned with murder as part of it) and one that is not going to go wrong, necessarily, but go awry a little. He’s been recently pardoned from a 10 year stint thanks to bribing a previous incorruptible pardons board official and he needs some additional cash to make good on that debt while also to get out of the country. His accomplice in all this is his wife, whom he is pretty sure he can trust, but sometimes wavers because of their general distrust. So the book is primarily a chase book, with some romance and hiding out elements to it. There’s an absolutely gutting set of scenes near the end where they’re hiding in some truly heinous places. The hiding scenes in this book are really strong because they really dig into something I think about all the time books, the overly casual way they allow time to pass without feeling it. So they really make the characters feel the hours they’re spending hiding out.