This book has a great reputation, particularly for the crackling dialogue, and I must say I was in complete agreement for the first 10 pages, which took me through the end of the brilliant first chapter. After that, you start to notice that everybody in this book -- the good guys, the bad guys, their wives, girlfriends -- _everybody_ talks exactly the same, some sort of blue-collar, Cliff-Klaven-meets-Edward-G-Robinson patois. It's lazy writing and the result is that the characters all kind of blur together. Tack on a "so what?" ending and you get a two-star book, plus one extra star for the first chapter, which really is terrific.
If you like crime novels, your best bets are Ray Chandler, Jim Thompson or Joe Wambaugh. You may enjoy Chandler or Wambaugh even if you _don't_ particularly like crime novels. Thompson has probably too much of what Southey would call "the yell of savage rage, the shriek of agony, the groan of death" for the unsuspecting reader.