George V. Reilly

Review: Layer Cake (book)

Layer Cake
Title: Layer Cake
Author: J.J. Connolly
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Black Cat
Copyright: 2000
Pages: 309
Keywords: fiction
Reading period: 11–14 August, 2009

The unnamed nar­ra­tor—My name? If I told you that you’d be as clever as me—is an up-and-coming London drug dealer who wants to retire by his thirtieth birthday. He’s pro­fes­sion­al, low-key, and a little bit cocky, and he has every chance of pulling it off. He re­luc­tant­ly does a favor for the crime boss Jimmy Price and suddenly his plans are derailed. Double-crosses, snitches, betrayals, murders, hold ups, and stings ensue. There’s little honor among thieves, save for our hero’s immediate circle.

It’s easy to see why Layer Cake was made into a movie. It’s very funny and quite se­ri­ous—our hero learns some hard lessons. Connolly has an excellent ear for dialog, par­tic­u­lar­ly Cockney dialog, and perhaps a soft spot for London villains.

Rec­om­mend­ed.

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