I greatly enjoyed the stylish, intricate movie of this story, and was keen to read the book in order to get another angle on it. It didn't disappoint. A book is often more expansive than a film (Connolly - who wrote the film's screenplay - has emphasised how much had to be cut away from the book to bring it to screen), allowing you to luxuriate in the description and the dialogue, and to gain an appreciation for the tone and the language. It's here that Connolly really scores, as the voice he uses for his narrator is lively, characteristic and fresh.
Given that the field he's working in (London-based crime) has been well-hoed, that latter quality is hard to attain. In fact, apart from a few early appearances of cliche (why is it that the hoary old benevolent epithet "Gawd bless him" is always applied to a thoroughly wicked person - who's invariably, of course, known as a "diamond geezer" who might have been "a little bit naughty" in the past?), Connolly weaves slang (both regular and rhyming), dialect and onomatopoeic invented words into his narrative in a way which grabs your attention and keeps it throughout the convoluted tale of this caper.
Further comparisions with the film are probably odious, but I thought the way in which the story was somewhat tightened up in the screenplay was an improvement - particularly in, for example, the contract killing scene, and the eventual fate of those wretched two million pills. But this is still a great book, and I'm looking forward to Connolly's next.