Cogan's Trade is my favorite novel by George V. Higgins, the late Boston writer, attorney and journalist who understood Boston's criminal underworld better than any other writer (which includes Dennis Lehane and Robert B. Parker). Higgins, who also wrote The Friends of Eddie Coyle and Kennedy for the Defense, among many other novels, had the distinction of being a criminal defense attorney, so he had plenty of firsthand opportunity to hone his talent for mimicking the dialect and patois of smalltime Boston hoods. With an incredible cast that includes Brad Pitt as mob enforcer Jackie Cogan, as well as James Galdofini, Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta, Garret Dillahut and Boston-crime-movie-staple Slaine (The Town; Gone Baby Gone), and a stylish director in Andrew Dominick (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Cogan's Trade -- recently retitled "Killing Them Softly" (gag! -- sounds like the biopic of Roberta Flack!) is the one film in 2012 I am eagerly awaiting.
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