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The Digger’s Game

By George V. Higgins

Jerry “Digger” Doherty is an ex-con and proprietor of a workingman’s Boston bar, who supplements his income with the occasional “odd job,” like stealing live checks and picking up hot goods. His brother’s a priest, his wife’s a nag, and he’s got a deadly appetite for martinis and gambling. But when the Digger looses eighteen grand in borrowed money on a trip to Vegas, he quickly finds himself in the sights of mob loneshark “the Greek,” who will have to make the Digger pay up one way or another. Luckily—if you call it luck—the Digger has been let in on a little job that can turn his gambling debt into a profit, as long as he can pull it off without getting killed.

The Digger’s Game

Vintage, 2011
(reprint: 1973)