Tom and Anna Reed are the "good people" of the title. They are going about their lives, frustratingly trying to start a family by any means possible, but so far unsuccessfully, despite infertility treatments and four failed in vitro procedures, leaving them grimly unhappy and heavily in debt.
Jack Witkowski, his brother Bobby, and their buddies Will and Marshall are the bad guys, petty and not-so-petty criminals who pull off an unexpectedly big score. Their lives intersect with that of the Reeds when the latter accidentally but fatefully stumble upon the nearly $400,000 cache of stolen money. The Reeds think to themselves: "It's not your money. It would be wrong." Then "Whose money is it? Why not mine? Why is it wrong?"
Uncertain what to do, but desperate and out of their depth, they think "If they went to the police, they risked everything. If they didn't, they risked their lives."
The detective who first investigates the crime, Chris Halden, sees solving it as a huge feather in his cap and boost to his career. "And all he had to do to get there was bring in a drug dealer . . . , four hundred grand in stolen cash, and two civilians dumb enough to try to keep it."
My stomach muscles clenched as the run-up proceeds to the inevitable confrontation. The pages are filled with nerve-tingling suspense, as should be expected from the man whose book last year, "The Blade Itself," was equally taut and well-written. It must be something in the waters of Lake Michigan and its environs, but we have read some wonderful novels by Chicago authors of late, e.g., Sean Chercover, Libby Fischer Hellmann, and Michael Harvey, and to that list must be added this extraordinary writer, Marcus Sakey.
I found myself torn between being unable to stop reading, mingled with anxiety at what would happen on the next page. Ultimately, it was no contest: I could not put this book down. Highly recommended.