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A tennis mom is kidnapped
on 7 May 2010
This gripping crime story is a confrontation between a wealthy couple and a pair of criminals in Detroit in the late 1970's. Real estate developer Frank and his cute wife Margaret ("Mickey") have been married for 15 years, but cracks are appearing in their marriage. Frank is drinking too much, verbally abusive and not always where he claims to be. Mickey is a sweet, non-confrontational, faithful wife devoting much of her time to their 13-year old son Bo, a tennis prodigy. She is a tennis mom.
Ordell Robbie (OR) gives his old friend Louis Gara (LG) a tour of Detroit upon his release from prison, to show him what is new, esp. the derelict tenements renovated with his help. OR supplied much of the building materials and appliances by arranging them to be stolen from other building sites. OR has done pretty well and thinks he can do still better. He knows the man he deals with in his materials racket is a straw man. The real mover and shaker is taking monthly trips to the Bahamas to transfer a small fortune from his cash-paying renters beyond the grasp of the tax authorities.
OR and LG agree that simple blackmail is not enough to force the tycoon to turn over a cool million to them. So they decide to kidnap his wife. And she happens to be Mickey...
Will it work? How will Mickey react? Will Frank pay? How will the criminal duo's third accomplice Richard, a vintage Elmore Leonard (EL) creation, a dumb, smelly, unemployed neo-Nazi perform?
EL is a superlative writer. He combines a deep fascination with senseless violence, human stupidity and doomed individual ambition with awesome plotting and dialogue-writing skills. His often sorry protagonists come across as completely authentic. He has rightly been called the Grand Master of American crime writing. His books (many turned into Hollywood films) are great works of entertainment and studies of the hopes and struggles of America's underprivileged.