The new Elmore Leonard crime novel, Raylan, features fast-draw U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens going up against canny, treacherous offenders in Kentucky coal country. His foes include callous body organ thieves, coal company hired thugs, and a murderous bank robber.
It's Leonard's best book in years, reminiscent of his Nineties hot streak of Get Shorty, Maximum Bob, Rum Punch, and Pronto. The later novel was Raylan's first appearance as a character.
Leonard brought back Raylan in Riding the Rap and a short story, Fire in the Hole. The character is also the basis of the hit FX Cable series Justified.
The new novel is a set of linked episodes full of sharply written, dead-on dialogue and a collection of oddball country criminal types. In the past, Leonard applied his trademark dialogue ear to streetwise slang in Detroit and Miami. It works just fine here with hill country folksiness.
Raylan is an entertaining, can't-miss read for Elmore Leonard fans.
BEACH RATING: 4 Palm Trees