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Only Elmore Leonard could have written something this outrageously entertaining. Only Frank Muller could have made it into one of the best things you will ever hear. Leonard is now eighty six. RIP Frank Muller. The book was written in 1980, and Frank recorded it in 1993. So many of Leonard's books and short stories have been made into movies that I can't count them, but I do know that almost none of the stories are better than this. Lt. Raymond Cruz of the Detroit PD is on the hunt for Clement Mansell, a killer who knows no boundaries and kills for fun. Leonard's ear for dialogue is again pitch perfect. The cat and mouse game turns corner after corner, and you feel your heart pounding with each twist at the end. Leonard has you at his mercy. No one else could write like this. There is a dead, crooked Judge, a woman attorney who represents Mansell but then would like to kill him herself. Cruz has fellow cops, there are vengeful Albanians, there is just about anything you could want in a thriller. Stephen King called Leonard "the great American writer." Hard to argue with an expert. Decide for yourself. Just be prepared for a roller coaster ride.
21 of 23 people found this review helpful
This novel was tight as a futtock shroud, smooth as Mai Noi silk, sharp as the turns on Col de Braus, and hard as a boiled egg. I finish reading Elmore Leonard and I want to be him, just for a second. Now look: Chandler, Cain and Hammett are absolutely the Holy Trinity of crime; the Father, Son and Holy Ghosts of Noir. Leonard, however, is both the Word and death's echo. He is the ultimate end, the great inevitable, the voice in the void. His dialogue alone would be scary in its perfection, but you drape that shit on his plot and it is magical.
He sets this novel up from the title. City Primeval' was inspired by both 'High Noon' and Leonard's early Western fixation and Leonard's own work with The Detroit News and writing a piece called "Impressions of a murder" that he wrote for The Detroit News Sunday Magazine. Anyway, there really wasn't anything I didn't love here.
Oh, and Frank M., as always, is just killer at the narration.
16 of 22 people found this review helpful