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4.3 out of 5 stars16
4.3 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on 24 April 2015
I read this book because I loved the movie Jackie Brown, and this is the book that introduces Ordell, Louis & Melanie. It was perfectly ok, and I'm glad I read it for that reason, but I can't say I can see what all the hype about Elmore Leonard is based on. Nothing wrong with the book, but it didn't make me want to rush out and buy any of his others (except Rum Punch, which jackie Brown is based on)
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on 20 January 2015
Very enjoyable Elmore Leonard novel. It is fun to see characters reappearing in different books he has written, and I can't wait to see the movie. A must for fans of dialogue-heavy crime novels with a sense of humor, such as those by James Hall, Carl Hiaasen, Leonard Lynch and Walter Mosley.
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on 20 January 2015
Elmore Leonard's revenge on middle class suburban life. Three "scroats" believe the facade of a "perfect" wealthy couple. So they kidnap his wife for a ransom...but hubby doesn't want her back...that annoys them...but not as much as it annoys her!
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on 12 October 2013
Sets my mind racing as to where the story goes next, and I'm often surprised and always appreciative of Leonard's cunning skill as a story teller.
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on 28 January 2013
Ok so first off I started reading this book after Jennifer Aniston was pictured with it on holiday in Cabo St.Lucas. I researched the book and its becoming a film version and Jen is playing the role of Mickey Dawson.

The book is fascinating its about a dysfunctional family with a wife, Mickey, who won't complain to her alcoholic husband and their son Bo plays tennis.

Criminals kidnap Mickey (I won't say how), but for the beginning of the book there is no link between Ordell & Louis (the criminals) and Mickey. How Elmore Leonard (author) linked the two is perfect.

The criminals ask Mickeys husband to pay the ransom of $1million but he's with his Mistress, Melanie, and ends up not paying to get rid of her as he was going to divorce her anyways.

Last thing ill say is the criminals and Mickey then work together to get all of Mickeys husbands money (you can see a gradual bond growing between Mickey and the kidnappers).

I totally recommended this book! The film is called "Switch" and I believe will be filmed and stuff in 2014. Read it before that its incredible!

Jennifer Aniston- her playing Mickey Dawson will blow your mind! It's a very interesting role for her to play as its not the typical kind of role. But she will play it well I'm sure.

Star studded cast: lots of Hollywood stars are set to play in it just do your research and find out who! (Jen Aniston, Dennis Quaid).

Buy this book! Paperback, Kindle whatever just do it!

Warning: quite explicit language used throughout.
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on 1 March 2016
Read this was a good auther in a Peter James book.
But still reading him at mo.
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on 24 November 2010
I'm no great crime fiction buff or lover, but I liked this. It's comedy, with a strong vein of black humor. It's often funny. It's also rather bitter. It's a book on marriage--also. And none of its characters is stereotyped--neither its setting is. The dialogue are brilliants. And you don't expect what's going to come next. What more can you ask for?
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on 14 January 2016
Nice easy and enjoyable read didn't see the end coming.
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on 14 August 2014
Product tunred up on time and in described condition.
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