Outstanding crime thriller about a successful bank heist and its bloody aftermath (not that the heist itself wasn't bloody enough) as the three robbers try to make good their getaway. Doc, the engaging leader of the gang, is cool, smart, suave, resourceful, and ruthless; everyone likes him (likability is his stock in trade). And yet, through some marvelous sleight of hand, Thompson keeps him at arm's length, turning him neither into hero nor anti-hero, positioning him instead for his highly unusual fate, detailed in an ending that segues into near-fantasy and is both horrific and hilarious. Fast-paced, written with confidence, verve, and humor, and hardboiled as hell. Filmed twice, once in 1972 with Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw, then again in 1994, with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger.
Note: The naval cap worn by the man in the cover painting and anything it might conceivably imply has no relevance whatsoever to this story.