Elmore Leonard is widely touted as the grand master of crime novel writers. A fan since ’96, my favorite is still my first. Freaky Deaky. Laced with sharp, witty language, wildly vivid characters and dark humor, many of the titles have been produced as movies. Jackie Brown, Get Shorty and Out Of Sight are the best of the batch. Now if someone could only hook Leonard up with Michael Mann or the Coen brothers.
I am currently reading The Hot Kid. This, Leonard’s 40th novel, is set during the depression. It starts out in 1921 with 15 year-old Carl Webster buying an ice cream cone at his local drug store. Carl witnesses infamous outlaw Emmett Long gun down a police officer in cold blood, stopping to talk to the boy on his way out. Cut to seven years later and young Carl is now a US Marshall on the trail of Emmett Long. Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson and Bonnie and Clyde are all on the loose. Hold on to your britches for a wild mix of outlaws, bootleggers, US Marshalls, gun-molls, working-girls, Klansmen and gangsters impersonating federal agents. Another grand masterpiece from Mr. Leonard.