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Easy Death

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  181 ratings  ·  40 reviews
...and two robbers hired by a local crime boss manage to heist half a million dollars from an armored car. But getting the money and getting away with it are two different things, especially with a blizzard coming down, the cops in hot pursuit, and a double-crossing gambler and a murderous park ranger threatening to turn this white
Paperback, 236 pages
Published November 11th 2014 by Hard Case Crime
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  181 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Sep 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
The week before Christmas, two men hijack an armored car and go on the run. Can they evade the cops long enough to get the money to their employer?

Easy Death is a quick, suspenseful read. This tale of cops and robbers has a lot of twists and turns, made even more serpentine by Daniel Boyd's use of shifting viewpoints. The action shifts between several groups of characters and I got turned around a couple times.

One thing I really liked was that Boyd went out of his way to
Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is a clean getaway after I rob this armored car.


Dear Eddie,

Not only are you way too old to be asking for me presents, but you’re also being very naughty. So the answer is no.

Santa Claus

With its straightforward plot and 1951 setting this fits the bill as a Hard Case Crime offering that really feels like an old school hardboiled paperback delivered in a quick 236 pa
James Thane
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This novel, from Hard Case Crime, was published in 2014, but it's set in the Christmas season of 1951 and has the feel of a classic pulp novel. The story is fairly simple: a crime boss hires two men, Walter and Eddie, to rob an armored car. But stealing the money is the easy part. As the crime goes down, a major blizzard hits the area complicating the getaway. Of course it also hinders the cops who are in not-so-hot pursuit because of the treacherous conditions.

The narrative jumps ba
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Despite being set on Christmas eve there is nothing festive about this noir from Daniel Boyd. In true-to-genre fashion, EASY DEATH pits criminals against each other just as much as the law.

Yet, it's not all blood and violence - there are cleverly written scenes that show the bad guys in good light while moving away from the 'no honor among thieves' mentality. Contrary to the above, I know, but there is a nice balance between the expected and the not-so.

The plot revolves around a hei
Dec 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: noir, fiction, hardcase, 2014
The good folks at Hard Case have served up a heaping help of holiday hell in the form of Daniel Boyd’s heist novel, Easy Death. The story follows two hired goons charged with the unenviable task of robbing an armoured truck just days before Christmas. Will they succeed in their mission or will a brutal snowstorm throw their plans awry?

A relatively new name in crime fiction, Daniel Boyd is a pseudonym for a retired police officer and Easy Death is his first novel with renowned publish
3.5 out of 5 stars
Easy Death is a fun little yuletide carol of crime and suspense by the guys over at Hard Case Crime, about an armored-car heist pulled by a couple of good-ol-boys and their twisty attempt at a getaway, while being pursued by the cops. I enjoyed it but it's a tricky one. On one hand, at times the writing feels amateurish, the story requires a lot of suspension of disbelief, the back-and-forth jumping between first-person and third-person POV is annoying, and the cute Christmas carol referenc/>Easy
Quick, entertaining read. Lots of twists and turns, double-crosses, and surprises throughout. Recommended for pulp and noir fans.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Part No Country for Old Men, part Reservoir Dogs, part Agatha Christie whodunit. Multiple storylines can feel convoluted and confusing, but it pays off in the end. Very suspenseful, often surprising, certainly unique characters. (A deranged park ranger?!) A quick read, good pace, good dialogue and sense of conflict and tension. Fans of Elmore Leonard or Jim Thompson, this is for you.
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Hard Case Crime has a reputation for putting together dark, very dark, noir and I repeat myself, DARK books. Its publisher/founder, Charles Ardai, once told me that they have a formula. A person is in desperate straits and does something desperate (or has something done to them) that puts them deeper underwater. Then, the person goes scrambling, stumbling, and sliding from worse-to-worse until either doing something heroic to extract him/her from the morass or learns to deal with the problems enough ...more
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was going to be my Christmas read, but I got stuck on an awful book club read that bogged me down. Finally got to this the middle of January.

Classic detective style book set just before Christmas in 1951. It's an armored car heist and the events just before and directly following. The short chapters jump around from many POV's and events in the time line. One of the POV's is in the first person and the others in the third. The chapters are titled to make it easy to follow '
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
by Daniel Boyd is a rather odd book. For starters, it's a told story. An old-school armored car heist story, Easy Death starts with an unnamed narrator telling us of finding some newspaper clippings that tell of things that will be explained as the story unfolds. Then we jump back to December, 1959, the night before the robbery as Walter and Eddie prepare for the heist. The set up and the execution of the robbery serve as a promising beginning. But suddenly, the story shifts time and perspective. We ...more
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Easy Death" by Daniel Boyd is the latest masterpiece from Hard Case Crime. It is an in-depth look at a single armored-car robbery and, by in-depth, I mean that the author takes you painstakingly through the robbery and the chase that follows step by step and minute by minute. It's an old style used by some authors in the fifties and sixties - entitling each chapter with the time of the events, but few have done so with this much success.

It's five days before Christmas in 1951 and th
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Easy Death treads familiar ground, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. There's a lot of life in Boyd's little pulp, and, at its best, it reads like a vintage Parker novel. Heck, at it's worst it's a far sight better than most other crime novels. There's the heist and possible double crosses and shady characters whose motivations are questionable, of course, but the characters that inhabit Easy Death have lives and motivations that never feel contrived or forced. There are backstories, both explicit and implied, ...more
Mark Drew
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a great book!! I read crime/noir stories all the time and this book still blindsided me and I never even thought to think of looking to see it coming. After I picked myself up and said "Wow, didn't see that coming" Mr Boyd (not his real name) followed through with the other fist and left me with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.

What do we have here: a non-linear crime story told from differing perspectives date-stamped relative to an armored car robbery (THE event). The fly in the
Craig Childs
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hard Case Crime delivers another pulp novel gem with Easy Death. It’s a fast-paced Christmas-themed heist story infused with plot twists, humor, and violence.

The first half of the book is told out of sequential order, with chapter headings like “Ninety Minutes Before The Robbery” or “3 Hours After the Robbery”. This allows the author to keep certain characters’ motivations a secret, and it allows the reader to fill in the puzzle pieces to figure out what really happened.

The back hal
Jul 09, 2015 rated it liked it
The story itself, I actually enjoyed. I thought it was good, with some interesting twists and turns. Probably 4 stars on that.

The sort of formatting I was not a huge fan of. First part of the book jumps back and forth time wise from before the robbery to after, to before, and back seemingly with little reason. The POV jumps from time to time, and I don't think it needed to. I'm also not a fan of chapters starting with a date and time. We know it's soon after WW2 through the dialog. T
Ronald Koltnow
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
There is nothing like a good heist novel for the Holidays. Just before Christmas in 1951 an armored car robbery shakes up a small town. Two gunmen run off with the loot as a major snow storm paralyzes the area. Boyd is the author of the brilliant modern Western 'NADA, and here uses his experiences as a cop to bring real verve to an old theme. As the deal appears to go sour, the lives of various characters, with differing levels of culpability, intermingle with some odd lasting effects. Richard N ...more
Kristina Wright
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Author Daniel Boyd has written a fun, fast-paced pulp novel about a 1951 armored truck robbery. The dialogue is terrific and the snippets of Christmas song lyrics throughout put you right in the middle of the holiday season amidst this ragtag group of criminals and desperate men. The story isn't told chronologically, it jumps from before to after to during the robbery, but the chapter headers clue you in to the time frame and the characters involved. Hard Case Crime consistently delivers intrigu ...more
Dec 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a different kind of Christmas novel, one which combines the season with a classic hard-boiled crime story.

It is December 20th, 1951, and two robbers are hired by a crime boss to steal a half a million dollars from an armored truck only to have everything unravel after the heist.

The story follows various characters hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute, throughout the day as Christmas carols are played from radios and jukeboxes in the background.

David Williams
Great hardboiled crime novel

An armored car is knocked over. A policeman follows tracks through the snow. But when there is this much at stake can you really trust anyone? Easy Death is a great hardboiled crime novel and a lot of fun to read. There are a lot of twists and turns. Not all of them unexpected, but it is still a lot of fun. Hard Case Crime has been putting out some great works, both new and old. This is an excellent addition to the collection.
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
An easy read (no pun intended). I had the main mystery figured about half way through the book, it wasn't hard, but the twists and turns kept you wondering how the book would turn out. The characters were interesting and well developed, their interactions being thought out and realistic (for the times in some cases).

I would recommend for those who enjoy a good crime capper such as an Oceans 11 sort of thing. definitely ready the author again.
Vincent Lombardo
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Easy Death is an amazing read and is one of the most amazing crafted crime stories i have read. It surprised me with a twist that i should have seen coming. Lately its been hard to surprise me and this book did what a lot of many authors couldn't do. My only problem with the story is the constant Christmas music lyrics in each chapter just to remind the reader its the Christmas season. After a while it got quite annoying. Despite that i am very eager to read another novel by this author.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic story. Great, rich characters. Time-shifting narrative that will keep you on your toes. Wonderful writing style - many sentences saw me pause and re-read them to take in the wonderful word play and double-meanings. Wish this author had a hundred books instead of just this one. (If you know of more, I can't find them. Let me know.)
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Great New Entry from Hard Case Crime!

A fantastic read. Boyd manages to tell a nonlinear story without it ever becoming convoluted or confusing. A great cast of characters, surprising twists and witty dialogue. Easily one of my favorites reads from Hard Case Crime.
Murray Moore
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Easy Death read like a 1950's film noir movie, I enjoyed it. It took some getting used to the flashbacks and flash forwards but soon I feel into the rhythm. It has twists I didn't expect, if you like film noir stuff you'll like Easy Death.
Feb 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
An entertaining period crime novel. Few surprises but fun and fast paced.
Gary Vassallo
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
A really enjoyable read. I liked the various POVs and all the twists and turns. I also liked all the Christmas carols that were interspersed into the story.
Ellie Price
Terrific! A heist story and escape story!
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
a good read. bookpeople's mystery club read this for decemeber and indeed this noirish book had some christmas connections
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