Harry Arno, a bookie for the Florida mob, gets crosswise with the local boss who authorizes a hit. Raylan Givens, US Marshall, is assigned to keep Harry safe but loses him – for the second time in Raylan’s career. Raylan follows Harry to Italy, and of course The Zip, mob hitman, gets there too.
This adventure has it all: strippers, girlfriends, mob guys, cops, and more. Elmore does a great job keeping things moving. While it wasn’t a “can’t put it down” book for me, it fulfilled its purpose of entertaining me.
I haven’t read many Elmore Leonard books, but in this time of Corona virus I wanted an escape and this fit the bill. It is the first novel featuring Raylan – the hero in the TV series Justified. At the beginning of the novel Raylan lets his guard down and Harry gets away. This is not something we’d ever see on the TV show. But Raylan grows a lot through the story. You could make the case that the end of this novel is where Justified starts.
If you are looking to escape from the world’s problems for a bit, Elmore Leonard novels are a good place to retreat. To paraphrase something I’ve heard before: “If this is the kind of book you like, you’ll like this book.” If you love it, you are in luck as there are 4 or 5 books in the series. If you aren’t sure, give it a spin, it is a fast read.
In addition to the TV series “Justified” many of Leonard’s books have been turned into movies including “Get Shorty” with John Travolta, “Out of Sight” with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, and Jackie Brown – based on the novel Rum Punch – starring Pam Grier and Samuel L. Jackson.
After the end of the Kindle edition, Elmore Leonard has provided a partial descriptive bibliography which can help you pick the next book you want to read. That will come in handy as he has written over 40 novels. He also included his 10 rules of writing.
Note: This is the 150th book report since I started keeping track in 2009.