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A solid early Leonard Detroit crime novel with all the usual Leonard suspects. Filled with great dialogue, fantastic characters, it sets the reader up well for each of Leonard's funky plot twists. More than anything, this novel is a modern-day "awakening" of the female protagonist/victim. She moves from being a passive victim/wife to being an agent in her own new destiny; from being a scene in her own life to being the principal actor. That arc alone makes this novel worth it.
There is always a slight Karmic vibe to the Leonard novels I've read. It isn't just a simple equation of crime ≠ pay. No. Leonard isn't that trite. But stupidity, arrogance, selfishness, laziness and wickedness are all given the proper time and fertilizer to bloom and decay in the short 200 pages of his hardboiled garden.
12 of 17 people found this review helpful
A friend of mine told me about Elmore Leonard, so I decided to give him a try. Now I wonder what took me so long! His use of dialog was excellent and his characters well rounded. I have heard his endings were weak, but I thought this one was great. You don't really know the whole story until the last sentence, like a touché in fencing. I loved it, although I can see where some people would have found it rather abrupt.
A little about the plot: Louis Gara and Ordell Robbie met in prison and became quick friends. When Louis got out from another stint in jail, he went to Detroit to stay with his old friend. Ordell had been busy putting a can't miss scam together. The plan included kidnapping Mickey Dawson, a crooked land developer's wife, and holding her for a 1 million dollar ransom. Frank Dawson couldn't go to the police because he was hiding money in an off shore bank account. Add in a Neo-Nazi ex-security guard, a mistress on the side, and a hostage reluctant to return to her previous life, and what you get is an on-the-fly 'switch' in plans.
A very enjoyable read! I will definitely put more Elmore Leonard on my 'to read' list.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful