by Bruce TierneyFebruary, 2003
Longtime favorite Andrew Vachss' The Getaway Man is a sterling example of modern noir, and a bit of a departure from the hard-boiled Burke novels (Down in the Zero, Dead and Gone) for which he is best known. The story is told by Eddie, a somewhat slow-witted, if always earnest young man with an ardor for driving. When he stole the orange Camaro that got him his first serious jail time, he had no intention of selling it or chopping it for parts; it was all about the driving. Now, several years down the road, Eddie has acquired the reputation of being fast, smooth and loyal to a fault a standup guy. Eddie has hooked up with a career criminal named J.C., a man with a plan: the Retirement Score, the one huge job that every con dreams of. What could possibly go wrong? Oh yeah . . . a floozy, a real piece of work named Vonda. There are double crosses within double crosses, and I guarantee you won't figure out what's going on until the last couple of pages. The Getaway Man reads like a classic '50s crime novel; fans of James M. Cain and Jim Thompson will be delighted to take Vachss' latest out for a spin.