Dog Eat Dog by Edward Bunker
Three friends from reform school embark on a bloody rampage
Troy was born in Beverly Hills but raised in the prisons of Southern California. Two days before his parole from reform school, a run-in with a young tough threatens to derail his release. He prepares to fight, ready to sacrifice freedom to maintain his reputation, but a friend comes to his rescue. Armed with two razor blades, Mad Dog takes out Troy’s assailant, allowing his friend to go free. Troy does not forget the debt.
Years later, Mad Dog makes a living on penny-ante heists, and Troy—who has grown into one of the smartest hoods in L.A.—is about to finish a stint in San Quentin. They join up with another old friend, Diesel Carson, and launch a spree vicious enough to put them in jail for the rest of their lives. But these three would rather die than return to prison.
“Dog Eat Dog is the best novel about armed robbery ever written! It is pure realism and an uncompromising work of fiction.” - James Ellroy
“A raw, unromantic, naturalistic crime drama more lurid than anything the noiresque Chandlers and Hammetts ever dreamed up.” - New York Times
“What distinguishes Bunker from other crime writers is his ability to convey the compassion dormant within his violent criminals without resorting to excess luridness, sympathy or moralism.” - Publishers Weekly
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