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Publisher's Summary

After serving time for armed robbery, Ernest "Stick" Stickley is back on the outside and trying to stay legit. But it's tough staying straight in a crooked town - and Miami is a pirate's paradise, where investment fat cats and lowlife drug dealers hold hands and dance. And when a crazed player chooses Stick at random to die for another man's sins, the struggling ex-con is left with no choice but to dive right back into the game. Besides, Stick knows a good thing when he sees it - and a golden opportunity to run a very profitable sweet revenge scam seems much too tasty to pass up.
©1976 Elmore Leonard (P)1996 Recorded Books Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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By Richard Delman on 05-14-12

Can't beat this with a stick (sorry).

How many times I gotta tell you? Elmore Leonard and Frank Muller just make almost everybody else look silly. Leonard wrote this in 1976 and Frank recorded it in 1996. And yet, it is so fresh and so utterly memorable that it could have been done last week. Just hearing Mr. Muller read the climactic chapter, #26, is so thrilling that you cannot find anything more exciting than his voice. I probably read this when it came out, and yet I never could have imagined the performance that brings this book to life so vividly that now I may never forget Ernest Stickley, Emma "Kyle" McLaren, Eddie Moak et al. Stick has just gotten out of a maximum security prison in Jackson, Michigan. Seven years in a true horror story. He goes to Miami to see his daughter. He rather suddenly finds work as a chauffeur for Barry Stamm, boy financial wonder. He meets Chucky Gorman, a pill-popping drug dealer; Lionel, his "bodyguard,"; Nestor the Cuban drug guy, his hitman Avillanosa...each of these characters is drawn so quickly, with such a perfect ear for how people talk, that they just jump out at you. Leonard takes his time with the setup, not rushing as usual, drawing you in. Then the final scam starts, and once again you cannot possibly in your entire life imagine a climax so visual, so startling...I know one can't say "so unique," but Leonard and Muller will cause you to reach for superlatives just to try for a description that comes close to the mastery here. I am again so glad that Audible has released these works; I would pay twice as much to hear these as I do now. (I hope they're not listening.) Do yourself a favor. You will not find anything more thoroughly entertaining than these two guys.

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11 of 13 people found this review helpful


By Mark on 03-22-16

Highly Entertaining

As almost always with Leonard, the writing is smart, spare, and engaging, with a likable hero up against some scary dudes. The narrator (Frank Muller) was the best ever. His death was a loss to this art form.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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