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Not a fantastic Leonard, but still a very good one. Leonard is the master of defining 5-7 good characters, setting them all in motion and writing great dialogue as they orbit closer and closer and eventually either crash into one another or find an unnatural equilibrium. This story is basically a cat & mouse game between two bizarre criminals (One an impulsive shit-talker = Richie Nix. One an French/Ojibway Indian hit man = Armand Degas, Aka Blackbird, Aka Bird) and a middle-aged couple that probably needs to read Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. They aren't a bad couple. They probably just need a bit of marriage counseling. Oh, and they probably need her mother to move or die.
One of the great things about good or great Leonard novels is not even the main cast of characters but his ability to breath life into bit players. He has a gift for dialogue and a talent for capturing essentials about the human condition in funky misfit characters.
I'll leave my review there because if I write any more I'm tempted to expand into the nature of bureaucracy, the character of local cops, or feminism in crime novels and might just give too much of the plot away. And the surprised and twists are one of the real reasons to read Leonard.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
The story was a little weak and not especially compelling. The characters were excellent though, beautifully drawn and compelling. Leonard's prose was spare and punchy as only he can be at his best. He IS the Hemingway of crime fiction. McLarty's performance was off the charts, one of the best I have ever heard.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Talk about unbearable tension. I kept getting so worked up by the story that I just wanted to skip to the end to escape. No one can build the pressure like Elmore can. I'm going to order another one of his soon but not right away. I'll need time for the panicky feeing to wear off.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The characterisations are just superb. Very good narration too. If you like crime novels that really get into the characters, this is for you.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful