Hank and his brother Jacob are walking in the woods with Jacob’s friend Lou when they stumble across the wreckage of a small airplane. Hank climbs inside to take a look, and discovers a dead pilot and a duffel bag full of money. The three count the money, which totals up to over four million dollars. Hank is shocked at what he finds and wants to turn the money into the police, but Jacob and Lou convince him that if the money was really important, someone would have been looking for the plane by now. Hank thinks things through, and agrees to split the money only if he can keep it in his possession for six months first. That way, if anyone comes looking for the money or it looks like they are going to get caught, he can burn it. The three agree to this, and Hank takes the money home. But then greed and nervousness consume the men, and each tries to outsmart the other in order to get their hands on the cash.
This book, which was also the basis for the excellent 1998 movie of the same name, is full of twists and turns. Smith is a good writer, but he takes it about two chapters too far. Had he quit while he was ahead, the book would have been perfect. Still, this is a good, suspenseful novel that keeps the reader riveted.
Reviewed by mw, 6/99. Other reviews by mw.