You're Dead Without Money
You’re Dead Without Money by James Hadley Chase

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My Rating: 2.5 Stars
Opening Sentence: With the temperature down to sub-zero and snow piling up on the sidewalks to me New York had become a hole in the head.

The story starts off with 3 small time thieves, sweet little Cindy, her father Joey and her boyfriend Vin, who decide to play it big and kidnap an actor, Don Elliot, for ransom. Ironically the actor they kidnapped was out of work, broke, facing crushing debts and on the verge of committing suicide to avoid his financial obligations. This results in the trio becoming a quartet in crime who plan a heist to steal a bunch of stamps valued at a million dollars. Since there are trust issues within the bunch and unknown outside forces at play for the stamps for reasons other than their financial value, there is so much potential for things to go wrong.
I enjoy a good heist story, especially if I like at least some of the characters. In this case I blew hot and cold towards them but still found them pretty likable in the long run. The story felt like more classic Chase, with a few nice curve-balls. The ending though will not be to everyone’s taste. It certainly wasn’t to my taste. I kind of felt that half way through the story the author changed his mind about the direction he wanted to go in and rewrote a different ending. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting it to be.
Readers familiar with James Hadley Chase will find a few of his little trademarks to smile at, like the mention of Sidney Fremlin from “Have a Change of Scene” and the story being told by Al Barney from ” An Ear to the Ground”. All in all a fun read.

What I liked:
No cheesy dialogue
Believable heist plan
No loose ends

What I didn’t like:
Ending
Joey’s character
Winding up too conveniently
Unnecessary dimensions
Possible change of heart by author halfway through story.

View all my reviews

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