Earl Slater is a small time crook. He hooks up with a gang planning to pull off a bank heist, and the plan seems solid until the local sheriff, who suspects these strangers in his town may be up to trouble, fouls up their plan. Slater is wounded in a standoff yet he escapes with another accomplice, John Ingram. They find refuge in a farmhouse owned by an elderly couple. At first, Slater doesn't trust Ingram and holds a gun on him. But when he sees no other option, he convinces Ingram to locate his girlfriend, Lorraine, for help, which Ingram does. As the sheriff's dragnet tightens these desperate characters plan their escape.
McGivern's writing is compelling, poetic and delivers a strong wallop. Though the plot was straightforward, the characters were morally conflicted, setting up unpredictable circumstances. Odds pushes Slater, a racist, into a position where he must overcome his hangups as he places his life in the hands of Ingram, an African American.
This was my first McGivern book but it won't be the last.
Other McGivern links:
Bleeker Books bio
Rogue Cop review by James Reasoner
Police Special review by Bob Schneider
Death Runs Faster review by Bill Crider
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