Recoil Summary & Study Guide

James Thompson
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Recoil Summary & Study Guide Description

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Pat Cosgrove, a convicted bank robber, is serving an indeterminate prison sentence well beyond his parole date. Ineligible for parole because he lacks a sponsor, Pat is overjoyed to finally receive a job offer and sponsorship from Doc Luther. Within just a few hours of his release, however, Pat begins to realize that things are not as straightforward as could be desired. Over the next several weeks Doc Luther introduces Pat to powerful senators, shady business associates, and beautiful women. Doc Luther also provides Pat with housing, ready cash, a job that does not require working, automobiles, and fine clothing. A worried Pat wonders whom he can trust even as he develops relationships and attempts to discover what he must eventually do to repay Doc Luther's apparent kindness. Pat eventually discovers he is trapped in a web of deceit and intrigues - and realizes that Doc Luther intends to frame Pat for a murder and then collect the insurance payouts. Pat finally turns to his sarcastic parole officer for assistance, and manages to free himself of Doc Luther and his associates while remaining on the safe side of the law.

As an impetuous seventeen-year-old, Pat Cosgrove walks into his local small-town bank and robs it. His unpremeditated escape route leads him to unsuccessfully attempt the hijacking of a small airplane - unfortunately the local judge is the sole frightened passenger and, thus, the juvenile Pat draws an adult prison sentence of ten-years-to-life. After ten years in prison, Pat becomes eligible for parole but can't locate a willing sponsor and, therefore, spends another five years incarcerated. Much to Pat's amazement, one of his unsolicited mailed-in job applications is finally accepted by one Doc Luther, and the newly-sponsored Pat is quickly paroled.

Doc arranges for Pat to live in an affluent apartment, complete with servants. He then finds Pat a job at the Highway Department which provides a State automobile but does not require that Pat even show up for work. Doc's kindness is apparently limitless, and he purchases Pat an entire high-end wardrobe, furnishes him with spending money, and introduces him to powerful senators and attorneys, and a few beautiful women. Pat begins to realize that Doc's kindness is not altruistic, and wonders what the ultimate price will be.

Warned by his sarcastic parole officer that Doc is up to no good, Pat begins his own discreet inquiries into Doc's operations. When the private investigator that Pat hires winds up dead, Pat knows that his very life hangs in the balance of Doc's plans. Pat begins to develop relationships with several other characters - all of whom are involved in Doc's plans to some degree. He eventually discovers that most of Doc's business associates have one plan, Doc has another plan, and a few of Doc's trusted friends have yet a third plan. Pat also realizes that his involuntary participation in any of the various intrigues will likely lead to his return to prison. Pat finally turns to the one person he is sure he can trust - a vapid but beautiful woman named Lila who stands to lose as much as Pat if Doc's plans are successfully executed. Lila informs Pat's parole officer of Pat's predicament, and that night Pat's parole officer and the police listen outside the door as Doc explains his entire nefarious scheme and attempts to set it into motion. The police then burst in and Doc and his associates are arrested, Pat is pardoned, and soon he is married to his faithful girlfriend.

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This section contains 591 words
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