Somebody Owes Me Money by Donald E. Westlake
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Chet Conway, a cab driver, gets a tip on a horse instead of money from a customer. The horse is a longshot but Chet puts 35 bucks on him. The horse winds up winning but when Chet goes to collect, his bookie is dead and everyone seems to think he did it. He goes on the run with the dead bookie's sister, searching for the bookie's killer and trying to get his damn money, with two gangs and a detective on his trail. Will he ever get his money?
This was a light-hearted tale with a lot of twists and turns. Ardai's 50 to 1 owes a lot to it in terms of tone and style. Chet and Abbie were both interesting characters, if a little thin. I would never have guessed who it was that bumped off Tommy McKay. Since my initial reading, I learned that Westlake stuck the ending on after Somebody Owes Me Money got reprinted by Hard Case.
Fun stuff but not gritty at all, if that's what you're looking for.
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