A desperate cop and a wanted woman cross paths with a dirty California underworld in a thriller “stuffed with truly shocking twists.” —Entertainment Weekly
At a dive bar in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, drug-hustling Emily Rosario is downing whiskey and looking to escape her dicey lifestyle. When a Russian couple approaches her with a proposition, Emily thinks she might have found her exit. But a week later—drugged, disoriented and wanted for robbery—Emily finds herself on the run for her life.
Veteran cop Leo Elias has heard about the unsolved bank heist , and the stolen money is too strong a temptation. A series of bad investments has left him broke, alcoholic and anxious for a way out of debt. That means finding Emily and the money before anyone else does. It’s a plan that soon spins out of control, forcing Elias to do things that can never be undone.
Shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award, The White Van “unfolds in a pulsating series of betrayals, blackmail, bad decisions, and worse luck . . . the stuff of Dashiell Hammett’s best nightmares” (Mark Haskell Smith, author of RAW: A Love Story)—and “a gritty, exhilarating . . . quick and scary . . . hell of a ride” (The Wall Street Journal, Best Book of the Year pick).
A heist propels Hoffman's outstanding first novel. Sophia, a Russian migr , plans to rob a San Francisco branch of US Bank with some inside assistance from its manager, Rada Harkov, and the help of two people recruited (decidedly against their wills) for the job: "the Russian," another migr and a black-market trader who owes Sophia money; and Emily, a young woman coerced into helping with drugs and threats ("She had been made into a slave"). The robbery nets some $880,000, a powerful temptation for another major character, Elias, an officer with the SFPD Gang Task Force. An alcoholic, Elias is plagued by money worries. Beyond the engaging plot, the book focuses on people's behavior in the face of impossible choices. Hoffman, who spent nine years working as a PI in San Francisco, writes with great authority about the city's seamy side and the grim realities of life for its down-on-their-luck denizens.