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George V. Higgins Books In Order

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Publication Order of Jerry Kennedy Books

Kennedy for the Defense (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Penance for Jerry Kennedy (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Defending Billy Ryan (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sandra Nichols Found Dead (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Digger's Game (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cogan's Trade (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
A City on a Hill (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Judgment of Deke Hunter (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dreamland (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Year or So with Edgar (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Rat on Fire (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Patriot Game (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Choice of Enemies (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Impostors (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Outlaws (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sins of the Fathers (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Trust (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Victories (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mandeville Talent (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bomber's Law (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Swan Boats at Four (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Change of Gravity (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Agent (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
At End of Day (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Old Earl Died Pulling Traps (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

The Easiest Thing In the World (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Friends of Richard Nixon, The (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Style Versus Substance (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wonderful Years, Wonderful Years (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Progress Of The Seasons (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
On Writing (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

George V. Higgins

An author and a lawyer with a lot to say during his lifetime, the American writer George Vincent Higgins II would perhaps be best known for his bestselling crime novels. Establishing his own style with his work, many of his novels would, in turn, go on to inspire the Boston noir genre of cinema, with a number of popular films coming from it at the time. Some of his own work would be adapted for the big screen too, with his dark and moody style which really lent itself well to celluloid at the time.

With an ear for realist dialogue, his work really came to life, portraying characters who felt wholly real and grounded. Often focusing on gritty squalor, he’d show another side to life that wasn’t often shown up until that point, not shying away from some of the darker aspects of the crime genre. His legacy still continues to inspire to this day because of this, as readers and writers continue to discover him every year.

Early and Personal Life:

Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, and raised Rockland nearby, George Higgins was born on the 13th of November in 1939. This would see him interested in literature from an early age, although he would go on to study law and politics, which would help give him an understanding of what he was writing about. Providing him with plenty of source material to draw from, he become highly adept within his particular field, developing both his style and his voice.

Attending Boston College, he would become the editor of the campus literary magazine, Stylus, whilst there. Graduating in 1961, he would then go on attend Stanford University, where he would graduate with an MA in 1965, before getting a law degree from Boston again in 1967. This would take him into the field of law, something which would serve him well as a writer, providing the background he needed.

Over the years Higgins would write for a number of different publications, including the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Herald American, and the Associated Press. This would give him an insight into reporting on crime, which would help him along with his government position as an anti-organized crime figure. Knowing the world inside and out, he would then get down to the gritty details of the people that populated it, showing who they were as real human beings.

Active in the world of law for ten years from 1973, he’d gain an insiders knowledge of the profession quite unlike any other. This would see him on his towards becoming the writer that he currently is to this day, as he would live in Massachusetts for much of his life. Inspiring generations of readers to come, many are still discovering his work to this day, and will do so for many years to come.

Writing Career:

Bringing out ‘The Friends of Eddie Coyle’ in 1970, George Higgins would arrive on the writing scene making an impact. Establishing what was to be his style for years to come, he’d be noted for his realistic style of dialogue, along with his portrayal of Boston and its criminal underbelly. He would also write many works of non-fiction too, including ‘On Writing’, which came out in 1990 and is remembered for its straightforward blunt advice. Winning awards nominations, such as one for the National Book Awards in 1973, as he continues to be revered by both readers and critics to this day.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle

First brought out in 1970, this would soon get made into a film starring Robert Mitchum in the lead-role in 1973. It would be a self-contained thriller novel set in the criminal underworld of Boston, and would inspire a number of tough talking gritty noirs to follow in its wake. Not holding anything back, it’s a must for any fans of the genre looking to see where a lot of the more contemporary titles have come from.

Working for the mob, Eddie Coyle is doing jobs for Jimmy Scalsi, as he gets him guns and weapons for bank jobs. Now it seems like the cop named Foley is onto Coyle, and he wants him to give up Scalsi, telling him everything he knows. Stepping up, Dillon is a part-time contract killer who works full-time as a bartender to cover his tracks, and he’s posing as a friend to Eddie Coyle. The only problem is that Eddie knows the ropes of the scene, and he’s been around long enough to know better. Who will make it through and who will get taken out? Can Eddie keep his head above water? What will become of the friends of Eddie Coyle?

Cogan’s Trade

Originally published in 1974, this would be another hard-boiled novel set in the criminal underworld from George Higgins. Being a stand-alone, it would also once again be set in Boston too, with it being a hardened look at the criminal element. With the mob driving it forwards, it focuses on the character of Jackie Cogan, as he works as an enforcer to them.

Written in his trademark visceral style, this really leaps off the page, especially when it comes to the dialogue spoken. Brimming with authenticity, it really does feel like his characters are living breathing human beings, and not just two-dimensional cut-outs. This is a testament to the writing of Higgins, along with his vivid portrayals of Boston itself, which would really set the moody tone throughout.

Jackie Cogan is an enforcer in the Boston underworld, and he’s the one that’s called when the mob gets crossed. Tough talking, he’s not afraid of a little murder when the case calls for it, and now a mob game of cards has been held-up, meaning he’s got to find those behind the heist and deal with them. Dealing with the assignment with his usual ruthless efficiency, he knows exactly what’s being asked of him, as he works to find the culprits. With his penchant for violence, he will stop at nothing to find those guilty and restore order once again to the criminal element. Will he find those guilty and make sure they pay? Can he keep himself safe in the process of doing so? What will become of Cogan’s trade?

Book Series In Order » Authors » George V. Higgins

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