Lilly is a very handsome and sexy woman, hovering around forty. She is tough when she needs to be but quietly desperate. She runs playback money for the mob; they pay her to go to the track and bet money on the long shot to lower the odds and protect them from big payouts. She always skims a bit off the top for herself and stashes it in a suitcase in the trunk of her car. She has a good chunk of cash by now, but she skims carefully and her boss, BOBO, expects that sort of thing. Bobo has sent Lilly out of her regular territory in Baltimore to La Jolla, California; she decides to stop in L.A. and drop in on her son Roy. It’s been eight years since they’ve seen each other. She finds him sick and checks him into the hospital. She stays until she’s sure he’s okay, then heads up to La Jolla late. She misses the race she’s supposed to fix and is in big trouble with Bobo. He shows up at the track soon after.
Donald E. Westlake (screenplay), Jim Thompson (novel)