What can you say about Elmore? He writes some of the best and sharpest crime and "caper" books avaialble. His narrative is always cool and well thought out. La Brava is just another ini the long line. The story revolves around Joe La Brava, a former Secret Service agent, and Jean Shaw, a former 50's film noir actress. We follow their friendship and relationship after she is threatened by a local security guard. However it soon emerges that all is not as it seems. Other characers emerge and the situation escalates as threats turn into attempts to death threats and extortion. The plot twists and turns as the characters interact with the usual levels of coolness and thrills. What makes Leonard stand out is the fact that he takes ordinary people and situations and weaves them into a story with humour and thrills. He would be a favourite for Hollywood if it wasn't for the fact that there are to few scriptwriters with the talent to convert his story from page to screen. For every 'Out of Sight' or 'Get Shorty' you get a few '57 Pick-up' or 'Be Cool's' that never work. Read this if you've never tried Leonard. I guarantee you'll want to read more.
A great read, full of crusty Leonard characters and a jaunty plot. The protagonist, Joseph La Brava, is an evolving, 30-something guy who seems headed for a great career as a photographer. He's been around the block a few times and doesn't back off from a fight. When he meets two women--a former B-movie actress whose personal life reads like one of her old scripts AND a young, free-spirited cosmetic retailer who doesn't seem to have any kind of agenda, his life takes some interesting turns.
This has gotten some good, insightful reviews over the years and I can't add much. Thirty years after first being published, it still reads fresh and still merits its Edgar Award (in my opinion). Recommended.
This didn`t disappoint me in any way; LaBrava turns out to be a highly engaging character with an unexpectedly suitable hinterland for a photographer, and once this became clear I had no fears about where the story would go - able to handle himself in all situations and the whole tale told in Leonard`s utterly readable style; I found it an imaginative, slightly unusual, and thoroughly engrossing read.
A particularly well constructed example of Leonard's considerable narrative gifts - illuminated, as ever, by beautifully atuned dialogue and a sense of time (the eighties) and place (Miami). It would be very hard not to like.