The feds want Miami bookmaker Harry Arno to squeal on his wiseguy boss. So they’re putting word out on the street that Arno’s skimming profits from “Jimmy Cap” Capotorto – which he is, but everybody does it. He was planning to retire to Italy someday anyway, so Harry figures now’s a good time to get lost.
U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens knows Harry’s tricky – the bookie ditched him once in an airport while in the marshal’s custody – but not careful. So Raylan’s determined to find the fugitive’s Italian hideaway before a cold-blooded Sicilian “Zip” does and whacks Arno for fun. After all, it’s a “pride thing”…and it might even put Raylan in good stead with Harry’s sexy ex-stripper girlfriend Joyce.
Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating perspectives.
I loved watching Justified and learned a few years later it was based on books. This has been hovering in my TBL for a while and I was so happy to jump in.
First, if you’re looking for lots of Raylan – set your expectations lower. While integral, he’s almost a secondary character and much of the story focuses on & is from Harry’s perspective. I did enjoy that Leonard wrote from various characters, it made for good world building without bland prose.
Harry is a bookie who is being set up for skimming and his “employer” is coming after him. On the run & skipping bail, he heads to Italy. He’s pursued by Raylan, his girlfriend, and numerous organized crime members. Add in backstabbing within the underworld ranks. This is part gangster, part procedural, and a fair bit of humor.
It’s hard to tell whether Raylan is truly good ol’ boy verging on slightly incompetent or if I’m assuming it’s an act because of watching 6 seasons of TV. Either way it works, and I’m looking forward to more of him and the series.
Alexander Adams was a great choice for narrator. He has an older sounding voice fitting the characters, gives them appropriate accents, and has great delivery of Leonard’s humor. Easy listen.
Content Warnings (possible spoilers):
This book is almost 30 years old and many of the characters are in their late 60s & 70s. Plus, most are sketchy people. It fits the characters/story, but be aware of the use of “colored” for Black people & other antiquated terms, several murders
About the author:
Elmore John Leonard Jr. (October 11, 1925 – August 20, 2013) was an American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. His earliest novels, published in the 1950s, were Westerns, but he went on to specialize in crime fiction and suspense thrillers, many of which have been adapted into motion pictures.
Note: Usually I link to the author’s website &/or social media – however the official website is no longer an active link.
My Favorite Quotes
He’d be putting his life in the hands of a three-hundred-pound semiliterate slob who never smiled or had finished high school. – Pronto by #ElmoreLeonard #Audiobook narrated by #AlexanderAdams #RaylanGivensTweet
Plan something for forty-seven years and all of a sudden you’re out of time. Do it now, this minute, or maybe never get another chance. – Pronto by #ElmoreLeonard #Audiobook narrated by #AlexanderAdams #RaylanGivensTweet
He’s not as dumb as you’d like to believe. – Pronto by #ElmoreLeonard #Audiobook narrated by #AlexanderAdams #RaylanGivensTweet
“The Marshals Service,” Raylan said. “I’m a deputy United States marshal. The same kind they used to have out in the wild West.” – Pronto by #ElmoreLeonard #Audiobook narrated by #AlexanderAdams #RaylanGivensTweet
My hat stays on ’cause I won’t take it off to you or anybody like you. – Pronto by #ElmoreLeonard #Audiobook narrated by #AlexanderAdams #RaylanGivensTweet