Red Collar

Take the shocked employees laid off by George Clooney and Anna Kendrick from Up in the Air and the presidentially-masked bank robbers led by the late Patrick Swayze and pursued by Keanu Reeves in Point Break, and you’ve got the basic outline of Red Collar. What makes it a great heist novel is everything in between.

Almost immediately, while commiserating over coffee at the valley’s favorite java joint, Bean There, Done That, the laid-off employees of Chrome Valley Federal Bank start planning what they think will be the greatest heist in British history and allow them to live modest, work-free lives for the rest of their years.

Of course, that’s not the way things go – by the time the actual robbery takes place, the robbers have already undermined each other.

All the action takes place against a blood-soaked background of filth, gore, beatings, mutilations – in other words, just another day in Chrome Valley.  In the process, the animal-masked thieves create a new class of workers: red collars, because they’ve soaked their formerly starched white collars in the blood of their victims, including themselves.

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