Putnam, Jun 2002, 24.95, 432 pp.
In Chicago, Judge Paul Divine decides to rob the Chicago branch of the Federal Reserve Bank mostly because he wants to taste the thrill of the caper. He thinks of his best friend Dave Brody, a fire department paramedic, who enjoys torching buildings and wants the feel of being on the edge excitement.
During an equal opportunity case in his court in which the reserve bank is defending its policy, Paul believes he has found the remaining members of his heist gang besides Dave. He enlists Sergeant of the Guards Charity Scott and her husband electrician Trimble Young to help pull off the robbery. Both are angry with the bank's leadership for enforcing a little used rule on spouses working together. Now the team is in place and the plan is set with only the time left to select when to pull off the caper.
Think of Taking of Pelham 123 occurring inside the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank to grasp the underlying action of MONEY TO BURN. However, what engages the reader with the story line is the thought processes of the Judge, a model citizen who seems to have allowed his darker side to take charge. James Zagel provides an intriguing debut novel that will hopefully not be the last because this author has plenty of talent.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner