Page Updated: 19/03/02
George V. Higgins
At End of DayAt End of Day
The AgentThe Agent
The Rat on FireThe Rat on Fire
The Friends of Eddie CoyleThe Friends of Eddie Coyle
Buy at and Books By George V. Higgins
About the Author

Robinson (2001)
Buy at At End of Day
See Review by Martin Edwards - creator of the highly acclaimed, Liverpool based Harry Devlin Mysteries
Every local police officer knows that Arthur McKeach and Nick Cistaro are the most prolific and ruthless practitioners of extortion, fraud, theft, bribery, assault, and murder in Massachuseffs. What none of them know is how to stop these Michelangelos of crime. For thirty years the two have somehow eluded jail - or even arrest.
Their secret is at the heart of George V. Higgin's most searching dissection of criminal life yet. McKeach and Cistaro have found a new and improved way to keep themselves safe from the organized crime unit of the FBI, which at the same time protects them from the occasional interference of the local police. Inspired by a true story, At End of Day lays bare not only the inner workings of a criminal empire, but also reveals the corruption at the heart of American law enforcement. The deepest fault within the system is not stupidity, corruption, or even greed, but ambition; and, in the hands of George Higgins, the alliance between the FBI and organized crime takes on a horrifying inevitability.

Paperback - No Exit Press (2000)
The Agent
Super sports agent Alexander Drouhin, a handsome, ruthless, slick lawyer, and his motley support team inhabit a cut-throat world obsessed with money, fame and power. So when Drouhin is found with a couple of .44 slugs in his head, there is no shortage of suspects. By the time Lt Francis Clay arrives at the crime scene, it appears that everyone has an alibi and no one has a clue. More than a detective story, The Agent is an unrelenting examination of a world in which no outrageous amount of money is ever enough and there is more to the game than just scoring points.
'No one writes better police procedurals than Higgins ... a powerful screed against greed; above all, and always, he is a moralist. The Agent resonates because it's an angry book, and the author's real subject is paradise lost' Boston Globe
'As the detective gets his interviewees to talk, we spiral slowly closer to the truth in a flood of Boston English. It's glorious, boastful Higgins-talk - no one pours, drips and spatters words onto the page like George V., the Jackson Pollock of banter' San Francisco Chronicle
'Higgins is my favourite. No, he doesn't learn from me, I learn from him' Elmore Leonard
'He is still the best' John Grisham

Paperback - Constable & Robinson (2001)
Buy at The Rat on Fire
The Rat on Fire, one of George V Higgins’s finest `low-life’ novels, tells the story of an insurance fraud - the torching of Boston slum buildings.
Described by Time Out as `top of Higgins’s ten best books’, it skilfully intermingles the worlds of Jerry Fein, incompetent lawyer, booking agent for nightclub acts and owner of a run-down building where the tenants won’t pay the rent; Billy Malatesta, a fire marshal under investigation; Leo Proctor and Jimmy Dannaher, who’ve both done time and are nervous about doing any more; and John Roscommon from the Police Department who wants to nail Billy but doesn’t understand the rats: `Rats? What the hell they want to catch rats for? You got a rat in your house, of course you’d want to catch him. But go into the woods looking for rats? That doesn’t make any sense. The hell they want rats?’
Using a simple, almost perfect storyline, Higgins has produced a highly realistic portrait of American life and the way corruption, and retribution, can creep up on anyone.

`George V. Higgins writes very good books . . . He is the le Carré of classy sleaze, and that is classy indeed.’ Ed Mcbain
' Higgins, ... has arranged the conventions of the crime novel into something new: oblique, bleak and often graveyard funny.' John Coleman, Sunday Times

Paperback - Robinson (2001)
The Friends of Eddie Coyle
See Review by Martin Edwards - creator of the highly acclaimed, Liverpool based Harry Devlin Mysteries
Higgins’s Masterpiece Of The Flip-Side Of The American Dream
With its famous opening line, `Jackie Brown at twenty-six, with no expression on his face, said that he could get some guns’, and a fast-paced, dialogue-driven story, The Friends of Eddie Coyle established George V Higgins as the unchallenged chronicler of American low life.
Eddie `Fingers’ Coyle got his nickname when some men he knew put his hand in a drawer, in a friendly fashion - Eddie could choose which hand - and kicked it shut: Eddie had sold a man a gun that was traced. Now Eddie is back in business and taking more care.
However, the police is not the only organisation that has its eye on him; and Dillon, the knowledgeable barman, gets a message that spells life - or the other thing -for Eddie Coyle.
Made into a classic film of the sane name starring Robert Mitchum, Eddie Coyle has previously been chosen as one of the top 50 post-war American novels.

‘What dialogue . . . What I can’t get over is that so good a first novel was written by the fuzz.’ Norman Mailer
‘One to put beside the best American tough writing of the last 40 years.’ Julian Symons
'One of the finest creators of dialogue in the twentieth century' Bill Ott, Booklist

About The Author
George V. Higgins was born in Brockton, Massachusetts, in 1939. After several years as a reporter, he obtained a law degree and went on to become Assistant DA in Boston. This was followed by a period of private practice, during which he defended Gordon Liddy, the conspirator, and Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver, before becoming a full-time author. As a reporter, he encountered the New England underworld that was to become a source for his novels. He was the author of more than 25 books, most notably The Friends of Eddie Coyle. A Change of Gravity. was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book for 1997. At End Of Day is his last novel, completed just prior to his death in November 1999.


N.B. dates and publishers in dark red indicate British First Editions. Dates and publishers in black indicate recent reprints.

  • At End of Day ( 2000) Robinson Jan 01
  • The Agent ( 1999) No Exit Press Pbk Feb 00
  • Sandra Nichols Found Dead ( 1997) (Jerry Kennedy)
  • A Change of Gravity ( 1997) Pbk Feb 00
  • Swan Boats At Four ( 1995)
  • Bomber's Law ( 1994)
  • Defending Billy Ryan ( 1992) (Jerry Kennedy)
  • The Mandeville Talent ( 1991)
  • Victories ( 1990)
  • The Progress of Seasons ( 1989)
  • Trust ( 1989)
  • Sins of the Fathers ( 1988)
  • Wonderful Years, Wonderful Years ( 1988)
  • Outlaws ( 1987)
  • Imposters ( 1986)
  • Penance for Jerry Kennedy ( 1985) (Jerry Kennedy)
  • Old Earl Died Pulling Traps ( 1984)
  • Style Versus Substance ( 1984)
  • A Choice of Enemies ( 1984)
  • The Patriot Game ( 1982)
  • The Rat on Fire ( 1981) Constable & Robinson Pbk Aug 01 (Jerry Kennedy)
  • Kennedy for the Defense ( 1980) (Jerry Kennedy)
  • A Year or So With Edgar ( 1979)
  • Dreamland ( 1977)
  • The Judgement of Deke Hunter ( 1976)
  • The Friends of Tricky Dick ( 1975)
  • A City on a Hill ( 1975)
  • Cogan's Trade ( 1974)
  • The Digger's Game ( 1973)
  • The Friends of Eddie Coyle ( 1972) Robinson Pbk Jun 01

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