Paperback edition published by Pocket Books in 1980
Vincent Patrick's first novel, originally published in 1979, chronicles the lives of some New York low-lives and the mob at the end of the 1970's. Focused largely in downtown Manhattan, Patrick's novel was the inspiration for the film starring Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts, which Patrick helped write. While many more people are aware of the film version, in my opinion the book is much better and slightly different—a main change being that Barney, the safecracker, has a retarded son who was left out of the movie. The language and dialogue Patrick uses are excellent and authentic; the first of his three books definitely deserves reading, whether you've seen the movie or not.