cover image Culprits: The Heist Was Just the Beginning

Culprits: The Heist Was Just the Beginning

Edited by Richard Brewer and Gary Phillips. Polis, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-943818-90-7

This clever anthology focuses on what happens to each of seven gang members in the aftermath of a big heist. The target is Clovis Harrington, the owner of an 18,000-acre cattle ranch outside Fort Worth, Tex., who keeps $7 million in a secret safe. The inside people are Clovis’s much younger trophy wife, Gracella Murieta-Harrington, and her lover, Zach Culhane. A man called the Financier contacts the gang’s leader, O’Conner, who brings aboard safe cracker Hector Gonzales, pilot Will Ellison, wheelman Howard Racklin, and three other crooks. Brewer (co-editor of Meeting Across the River) and Phillips (The Obama Inheritance) handle the setup, the robbery, and the concluding chapters. Other contributors, including Manuel Ramos, Joe Clifford, and Gar Anthony Haywood, tackle the generally unhappy fates of individual gang members. Zoë Sharp stands out with her memorable depiction of the scheming Gracella. Fans of Donald Westlake’s caper novels will find a lot to like. (Feb.)