Wednesday, January 17

The Cleanup by Sean Doolittle

Review by Theodore Feit


Matt Worth is a cop in Omaha.  He is on probation for messing up—the latest incident:  punching a detective who is sleeping with Matt's ex-wife.  As punishment he is assigned to the graveyard shift at a local supermarket that has been robbed a couple of times.   To keep busy, he bags groceries and becomes friendly with a checkout clerk.


The clerk has a boyfriend who bashes her around one time too many.  She clobbers him to death.  Matt becomes involved when she asks his help.  He undertakes a cover-up of the murder, taking the body in the victim's car to his ex-con brother's junkyard in the next state.   There, the brother incinerates the corpse and chops up the car—but not before discovering a quarter of a million dollars in cash.


From this point on the plot evolves in all kinds of unexpected twists and turns.  At each step of the way, it looks like Matt is going to be discovered.  But each time he develops a new subterfuge, half-truth, fact or excuse.  The action continues unabated right down to the final page, and so should you.




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