I've just finished reading a book that was recommended to me by my new friend from Down Under, the lovely Lena. Actually, she recommended the film to me. I went online to search for it at the New York Public Library and found it was a book first that had been made into a movie. I reserved them both, and the book is the first one that arrived.
Layer Cake by JJ Connolly is a fast and fun journey into the seedy underbelly of the crime syndicate in London. It's basically Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels meets Snatch meets Elmore Leonard (author of Get Shorty, Be Cool, and Out of Sight). In other words, it's a guy movie in book form. And I loved it.
It took me a bit to figure out some of the British slang (cozzer, apparently, is another word for a cop) but it didn't take long to get involved in the story of our unnamed hero who is twenty-nine years old and has decided to retire from a life of crime when he turns thirty. As is usually the case in such stories, it is much easier said than done. Connolly parades before us a long line of colorful characters, one more interesting and sneaky than the next.
When I had reached the third-to-last page, everything is pretty much wrapped up in a neat little bow....but a lot can happen in three pages. That's all I'm gonna say.
A fun read and highly recommended. Makes me wanna get in a car and drive really fast.