“Hot damn! Paul Di Filippo has long been one of our best science fiction writers, so when he turns his attention—and his humor—to the classic caper novel, prepare to bliss out. Dare I say that Raymond Chandler would envy some of Di Filippo’s similes and wisecracks? At the very least, fans of the late, great Donald E. Westlake should start telling their friends right now about The Big Get-Even. In its pages storytelling artistry meets scam artistry and the lucky reader scores big.” —Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize–winning critic and Edgar Award–winning author
The Big Get-Even by Paul Di Filippo
A disbarred lawyer and an ex-arsonist cross paths and find themselves organizing an elaborate real estate scam to bilk a shady rich speculator out of twenty million dollars. The sting is personal for ex-arsonist Stan and for a woman named Vee, who plays an essential role in the caper. Glen, the narrator and former lawyer, finds himself at first just along for the money. Eventually, as bonds deepen among the conspirators, Glen too discovers he has a lot more at stake than simply the loot.
This cast of lively eccentrics discovers along the way that getting to the big payoff might just be more scary fun than the monetary prize itself.
“Paul Di Filippo expertly spins a tale of revenge, betrayal, and a fight for salvation.” —Brendan DuBois, Shamus Award–winning author
“This is an astonishingly accomplished, virtually seamless caper-suspense novel, a genre which the late Donald Westlake brought (in his Dortmunder novels) as close to perfection as any writer living or dead and which Paul Di Filippo has, in The Big Get-Even, made equally his own. I have long written of Westlake (1933–2008) that he gave more pleasure per capita than any novelist living or dead and in mourning his loss I called him ‘irreplaceable,’ but here is Paul Di Filippo and here is this novel and they have shaken and inspired. I hope there will be more of these and that I will be present for at least some. Having referenced the great Westlake, I should add Elmore Leonard’s name: the dialogue here is as mordantly accurate, the characters as endearingly unscrupulous and intense, the situation limned with his utter clarity of madness.” —Barry N. Malzberg
“The Big Get-Even mixes the cocktail of classic noir with a style and panache utterly Paul Di Filippian. It blends a cast of sexy and larcenous guys and molls (and one pretty-boy rotten yegg), a wittily suspenseful buildup, and a gasp-provoking payoff into a highly palatable intoxicant. I drank it off straight in nearly one draught, and I commend it to you as a bracing tonic for the blues and the blahs, no chaser necessary.” —Michael Bishop, author of Ancient of Days
“Improbable, inevitable, sexy, and fun. I couldn’t put it down.” —Michael Blumlein, award-winning author of The Brains of Rats and All I Ever Dreamed
Paul Di Filippo sold his first story in 1977. Since then, he has written and published over two hundred more, as well as several novels, amounting to roughly thirty-five books. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with his partner, Deborah Newton.