Killing Them Softly (Paperback)
|Author: George V. Higgins|
Famous for his dark, sparsely written tales uncovering Boston's criminal underbelly, George Vincent Higgins was born a good Catholic boy in Brockton, Massachusetts, son of two Irish-American schoolteachers. Throughout his boyhood years in working class Rockland, Mass., Higgins feverishly read the works of Ernest Hemingway, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and John O'Hara. At the sprightly age of 15, he wrote his first and never published novel, OPERATION CINCINNATUS, which he would destroy 20 years later. After graduating from Rockland High School in 1957, Higgins attended Boston College. In 1961, he fled the East Coast to study at Stanford University, where he received a master's degree. While attending Boston College Law School in the mid-1960s, Higgins worked as a reporter for Providence, Rhode Island's Journal and Evening Bulletin newspaper and for the Associated Press bureau in Boston. It was at this time that he formed an acquaintance with the urban underworld that would later become a major element in his 25 crime novels. In 1967, he was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar and began a career of prosecuting murders related to the explosive rivalry between the Irish and Italian Mafiosi going on at that time. In 1974, Higgins opened a private practice as a criminal attorney and defended such illustrious clients as Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy and Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver. He also continued his reporting gig, writing for newspapers that included the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, and the London Times. In 1987, he was appointed professor of creative writing at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Then there were the novels. In 1972, his second--and most famous--book, THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE, was published to high acclaim. His story of a Boston hustler who trades his life of crime for a cop job was made into a 1973 feature film starring Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle. Though the 24 novels that followed EDDIE COYLE received similar critical acclaim, none were ever as popular. Higgins' final book, AT END OF DAY, was published in 2000, just after his death in Boston, the town he knew best.