By W.R. Burnett

A gripping story of the making plans and execution of a jewelry shop heist in a dismal and corrupt Midwestern city. Set amid a seedy city wilderness of crooks, killers and con-artists, the participants of the group are gradually undone by way of their own obsessions (teenage ladies and mistresses, friendships and blood ties), double-crossing and destiny.

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Sample text

Smart cat. ” The Asphalt Jungle 52 Gus went back into the place, and Terry followed him, walking stiffly with great dignity and carrying his tail high. Big Mike looked down at the cat with pleasure but merely grinned. The truck-driver glanced up from his close study of female anatomy and was annoyed. ” he demanded. “Sonsabitching cats. I run over one every time I get a chance. ” Big Mike groaned slightly and went quickly to the far end of the counter. The hustlers didn’t even look up from their food.

Always on the pitch—always trying to move in. He looked out the window and said nothing. In a moment Doll turned away and hurried out to the stove, where Dix’s eggs were cooking. She’d gone out to get them herself when she could find nothing in the larder but some bread and coffee. People had stared at her in the little Italian market down the street because of her carelessly wound-up hair and her startling dress. But she was far beyond worrying about such nonsense as that. Let ‘em stare! Dix had to eat!

No. ” “Big guy blew in from the Walls last night. Looked Cobby right up. ” Dix considered, then said: “Yeah. I think I saw him. I was in talking to Cobby. ” Gus asked many questions, trying to prod Dix’s memory and stimulate his meager descriptive powers. Finally, Gus’s face lit up. “I got it. It’s Riemenschneider. The Squarehead. A really big guy. ” Dix made no comment, lost in thoughts of what he was going to say to Cobby. He didn’t care how big Riemenschneider was. It was nothing to him. After a while Mike Miklos brought them back some coffee and grinned with deep pleasure when Dix patted him on the back.

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