All Chet Conway wanted was his money. Money he won through his local NYC bookie after he placed a bet on a horse. Conway drives a cab and is always getting advice from passengers. Most times he ignores what he is told and moves on to the next fare. This time his fare figured out he played the horses and gave a tip on a horse. The 20 to 1 horse ran down in Florida shortly after he placed the bet and wins. Once he collects from his bookie, Tommy McKay, he can pay off his gambling debts.


One little problem with the plan though.


Just a couple of hours after confirming that Conway won, Tommy McKay is very dead on his living room floor. Dropping by on his way home after work, Conway finds the body and is drawn into the investigation by the local police who don’t buy his story. Especially Detective Goldman who is sure Conway knows more than he is telling. He certainly does but that wouldn’t help the case any. But, Goldman isn’t the only one who knows Chet Conway knows more then he is telling. Two separate gangs also believe Conway knows more as does his sister, in from Vegas, who plans on dealing justice to those responsible.


Originally published in 1969, this June 2008 release from author Donald E. Westlake features a cynical every man just trying to make a buck and survive. He knows he is never going to be filthy rich but he also knows that, even if his bookie is dead, the bookie had to have a boss to pay the claims. With occasional flashes of bitter humor and plenty of cynicism he deals with thugs all around, a beautiful woman who is a shark in many ways, and a cop whose motives aren’t obvious. Packed in 253 pages the read is full of character development, lots of action, and a strange mystery case involving Tommy McKay. The same Tommy McKay who “looked like he’d been shot in the chest with antiaircraft guns.” (P.16)


Try getting that image out of your head.


Somebody Owes Me Money

Donald E. Westlake

Hard Case Crime

June 2008

ISBN# 0-8439-5962-2


253 Pages



I am a member of the Hard Case Crime Book Club and received this material as my automatic monthly selection.


Kevin R. Tipple © 2009


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