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An unguarded pile of cash just gathering dust in an old defenseless widow's house? Sitting there under a coat in an unoccupied room? Of course a couple of young ne're-do-wells hatch a plan to just walk right in and grab it, but loose lips instantly sink ships. Right out of the gate there are too many crooks in the kitchen, sometimes one entering just as another left moments ago, creating a convoluted mess of a crime scene and a delightful read. From the street thugs to the seasoned looters to the Las Vegas white-collar criminal, everyone is far too blinded by the thought of getting their hands on that cash to think/act reasonably. This leads to a revelation for one character, a nondrinker, who chooses an AA meeting to be his alibi as the crime goes down (way down). Listening to the stories of one member he realizes, tearfully, that crime is his booze, but from here on out he will live his life crime-free! After he gets his payout for this last one, of course... then he'll quit. The story is messes upon mishaps upon misfires which makes for great pulp.
Two teenagers fresh out of stir set their sights on what looks like easy money in this classic thriller from 1958, only to get a painful education in how quickly and drastically a simple plan can spin out of control.
Dolores Hitchens wrote crime novels that were both tough and compassionate, with a sharp eye for the emotional scars that violence leaves. The basis for Jean-Luc Godard's film Band of Outsiders, Fools' Gold is a swift and unadorned tale of three young people--two boys just released after being incarcerated for a juvenile offense, and an orphaned girl living in a house full of secrets--whose lives are rapidly torn apart by what starts as a simple plan of robbery. It echoes other classic American narratives of youth astray and on the run, and with its headlong pace catches the rhythm of adolescent crisis, as Hitchens's protagonists find themselves caught up in a situation spiraling beyond their control.
About the Author
Dolores Hitchens (1907-1973) was a highly prolific author of novels and a play who wrote under several names, best known for a number of detective series incuding the "Cat" novels featuring eaturing elderly amateur sleuth Rachel Murdock: The Cat Saw Murder (1939), The Alarm of the Black Cat (1942), Catspaw for Murder (1943), The Cat Wears a Noose (1944), Cats Don't Smile (1945), Cats Don't Need Coffins (1946), Cats Have Tall Shadows (1948), The Cat Wears a Mask (1949), Death Wears Cat's Eyes (1950), Cat and Capricorn (1951), The Cat Walk (1953), and Death Walks on Cat Feet (1956).
Duane Swierczynski is the author of Canary and eight other novels, including the Edgar-nominated and Anthony Award-winning Expiration Date and the Shamus Award-winning Charlie Hardie series. He's also written over two hundred comic books for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, IDW, Valiant and Archie.