Monday, December 2, 2013

A Simple Plan

by Scott Smith
335 pgs

If you stumbled upon millions of dollars in cash and were fairly certain you could get away with it, would you take it? I would. I wish I could say with any degree of confidence that I'd do the right thing and turn it in to the authorities--but I know I wouldn't. I'd take it.

In Scott Smith's first book, this is the decision faced by three men--two brothers and their friend, when they discover a small plane that had crashed in the woods on the outskirts of their town containing a dead pilot and a duffel bag with $4.4 million dollars in cash. Without much debate they devise "a simple plan." Hank, one of the brothers, will be in charge of taking the money and hiding it. They won't spend any of it for six months while they wait to see if anyone comes looking for it. If someone does, they'll burn it and no one will ever know they had taken it. If no one does, they'll be free to split it three ways and go off to start new lives as millionaires.

Fortunately for the book's readers, and unfortunately for the three of them, their simple plan is quickly undermined by loose lips, distrust, and a spur-of-the-moment murder committed by one of them in order to keep their secret safe.

The book is fantastically written. It succeeds in not just telling a great story that will make it difficult for you to put it down, but it also makes a compelling statement about just how close to the surface the evil that exists in some men's hearts can be. The book is very much in the spirit of Breaking Bad and Lord of the Flies and fans of either are bound to enjoy it.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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