Here is another book for the R.I.P. Challenge.
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Fool’s Gold by Dolores Hitchens is the last novel of my Women Crime Writers collection and my least favorite. Although several of the novels were noirish, this one is definitely in the noir style.
Skip and Eddie are two young men who have already served time in prison. Both are attending night school but have little hope of finding a job. In fact, Skip is already planning a robbery based on information he has received from Karen, a girl in his class. She has told him about a stack of money hidden in the room that Mr. Stolz, a frequent visitor to her aunt’s house, keeps in his room.
This crime is poorly planned, but things begin to go wrong before its execution, when Skip’s uncle turns it over to some professionals in exchange for a cut in the proceeds. Skip is determined that no one will deprive him of his big haul.
We are supposed to feel some sympathy for Eddie, who would like to go straight. Skip is the one with the big ideas, who moreover is inclined to abuse Karen. But Eddie is too easily led to feel much sympathy for, and Karen is an outright idiot.
Most of the rest of the characters are despicable, and we watch as everything goes badly wrong.