Raylan Hardcover – 16 Feb 2012
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|Hardcover, 16 Feb 2012||
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There is no greater writer of crime fiction than Elmore Leonard, and no one who has more resplendent energy. (Philip Hensher THE GUARDIAN)
I think I've read all of Leonard's books, and even the ones I didn't like much, I enjoyed. But when he hits the target, it's a real bullseye, and this is one of them. (Mark Timlin CRIMETIME)
Leonard is one of the great American novelists. His work is a demonstration that the use of language has no rules or boundaries. (Erica Wagner THE TIMES)
There's no cooler, slicker thriller writer than Leonard, and he proves it once again in this, his 46th thriller in the 86 years of his life...A joy from the first page to the last, it shows that Elmore Leonard is still as sharp and serrated as ever he was. (Geoffrey Wansell DAILY MAIL)
RAYLAN is high-octane pop fiction of the darkest humour. (Ian Thomson SPECTATOR)
For dialogue, plot and style, you won't find better. (Doug Johnstone BIG ISSUE)
Immerse yourself in a murky world of kidney extraction and female bank robbers, woven together by the 87-year-old master who, even after 45 books, still knows how to surprise readers. (SHORTLIST)
He can get to the heart of his characters faster and straighter than almost any writer you could think of. (THE SCOTSMAN)
A brief immersion into an entertainingly dark interpretation of the American dream, sketched out in dialogue that's cooler than a drug-dealer's bath. (Cecily Gayford THE LADY)
How wonderful it would be to discover Elmore Leonard for the first time. I mean, discover him now, in 2012, when there's a massive backlog of previous novels, 45 in all, just waiting for you to crack one open. Like a can of your favorite beer, you know each one will be a separate unit of enjoyment that won't disappoint. (WASHINGTON POST)
Grim tales beautifully told (THE TIMES)
The star of JUSTIFIED returns in a stunning new novel from 'the greatest crime writer who ever lived' [Dennis Lehane]See all Product description
Top customer reviews
I loved this book. I thought he was going to spin out the organ trafficking storyline for the full 260 pages but he finished it at page 100, without introducing any new characters, making me wonder where he was going to take the story next. From there he goes into a murder story concerning a coal mining exec and an old man who happened to live nearby whose house was flattened by the coal company. Then from there Leonard introduces a new story of a trio of bank robbing girls and then another story of a poker playing 23 year old student on the lam.
Elmore Leonard does some amazing storytelling weaving these fascinating individuals into a single storyline. It's masterful and incredible to see these disparate elements prove to be part of a larger whole. More amazing still is the way he creates characters. Each one had its own voice and seemed completely real. Leonard writes femme fatales like no other, making them sexy and deadly and smart and witty too, from the organ harvesting nurse to the ice queen coal mining exec to the smart and resourceful poker player to the drugged out bank robbing gals.
The dialogue is the star, something Leonard is famous for and what everybody says about his books, but it's so true. Honestly, I was blown away by some of the scenes, particularly when the poker girl and the horse breeder rich guy have that exchange about playing cards - the dialogue is fast, musical, hits the ear perfectly, and is unlike dialogue in any other novel. Are you a first time reader of Elmore Leonard? Pick up this book and see why people praise his characters' speech like no other.
Putting aside the technical majestic on display throughout the book, Leonard knows why people read and particularly why people read his books - to have fun. To relax, unwind, and be entertained. And for no other reason than entertainment, this book excels. Murders, kidnappings, shootouts, high stakes poker games, this book has it all and no-one reading this novel will come away feeling short-changed of entertainment value. Even the characters seem to be having a good time, Raylan moving from crime scene to shootout to bars and finally to bed with a good looking girl, I got the feeling his eyes were wide, his heart was beating, and a smile lay beneath his face the entire time.
This is my favourite novel of 2012 so far. It's got everything from fine storytelling, superb writing, one of a kind dialogue from the man who sets the gold standard for dialogue, an array of excellent characters and some utterly brilliant setups, this is a novel that readers will rocket through with a big grin on their faces. You're looking for a good read? Stop reading this and pick up "Raylan" - he'll sort you out.
In this book, that kind of makes us think that it's not novel but rather a collection of interconnected stories, we follow Raylan as he's called to investigate three different cases. The first one has to do with the removal of the kidneys of a known criminal and then the offer from the perps to sell them back to him; the second concerns the murder of an ex-miner, who suffered a lot during his stay with the company and afterwards as well; and finally the third follows the footsteps of a rather brilliant college student, who after losing a lot of money playing cards decides to hit the road and head to Las Vegas, looking for the big score.
As one would expect from a Leonard book its strongest points are the characters and the dialogues. Be Cool; that seems to be Raylan's mantra, and cool he is. He is a Marshall, an enforcer of the law, who has his own individual sense of justice and who follows his own rules; someone who doesn't seem to care how justice is done, as long as it is done. So, when he investigates the kidneys case the only thing he's interested in is solving it and arresting the perps, he doesn't care even a little bit, that the men in question are the sons of one of the biggest drug lords. When he tries to prove that the death of the ex-miner did not occur as an act of self-defense, but rather that it was a cold-blooded murder, he does not hesitate to clash head to head with his temporary employer, a sexy yet ruthless woman, and when the final solution comes about, though highly unorthodox, doesn't make him break a sweat. And when he accidentally bumps into the runaway girl, instead of arresting her on the spot he gives her a chance to make things right. In Raylan's world the end justifies the means. And in his world, one way or the other, justice is always served.
Raylan however is not the only unique, in his ways, hero in this novel. The baddies are just as interesting as him, or even more so. We have old man Crowe, who no matter what has his own set of rules; Rita, a kind of housekeeper for the man and his occasional lover, and the only person he can totally trust along with, Raylan; and then comes an adventuress, a woman with a heart of ice: "This was a cool woman with evil ways. The best kind." And finally we have someone who betrayed all her beliefs, if she had any, who chose to forget her past and do everything and anything she possibly could to secure herself an unknown yet brilliant future; one who believed that she could and would have all there was to have, and couldn't take no as an answer; a victim of her own making.
Raylan's adventures offer the reader something similar to a roller coaster ride; they are cool and they are exciting, without seemingly trying to be so.
Highly recommended to all the fans of the good writer, but also to every single soul out there that enjoys a good old crime novel. I'd say that Raylan is here to stay.
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