Four men attempt to rob a bank of $200,000 in payroll money on a Friday night in a small town outside of Philadelphia, and the robbery goes bad. Frank Novak is the organizer behind the heist. He's an ex-cop. He enlists the help of Earl Slater, an ex-GI who has had a few scrapes with the law, a fellow named Burke, and John Ingram, a black man who is a poker dealer by profession and who owes the mob $6,000 in gambling debts. In exchange for Novak paying off those debts, he agrees to participate in the bank job. We get a great deal of ink devoted to the Earl Slater character and his relationship with his girlfriend Lorraine ("Lory"), some of it not altogether believable, and to the racial antagonism between Slater and John Ingram (for some reason, he is always referred to by his last name throughout the novel, and Slater is always referred to by his first name). Slater derisively refers to Ingram as Sambo throughout. (This is overdone to the point of seeming truly offensive.) While killing time prior to the heist, Slater and Ingram arouse the suspicion of the local police, and things quickly go bad. As fate would have it, Slater and Ingram are forced to throw in with each other as they flee the crime scene and take refuge in a house outside town, and the last quarter of the novel bogs down with their bickering. It is overheavy with interior monologue, very repetitive and over-the-top melodramatic. The film based on this novel places more emphasis on backstory involving John Ingram, and on the planning of the heist, than does the novel. And it basically ends with the robbery gone bad, whereas the novel continues the narrative for quite some time, devoting attention to Ingram and Slater evading the police.