Clement Mansell knows how easy it is to get away with murder. The seriously crazed killer is already back on the Detroit streets -- thanks to some nifty courtroom moves by his crafty looker of a lawyer -- and he's feeling invincible enough to execute a crooked Motown judge on a whim. Homicide Detective Raymond Cruz thinks the "Oklahoma Wildman" crossed the line long before...more
As of this writing, I've read 15 Elmore Leonard novels. Many of them have the same sort of rhythm. The bad guys are slick, the good guys are slicker, and you wind up liking most of them to so ...more
- Elmore Leonard, "Impressions of a Murder"
This novel was tight as a futtock shroud, smooth as Mai Noi silk, sharp as the turns on Col de Braus, and hard as a boiled egg. I finish reading Elmore Leonard and I want to be him, just for a second. Now look: Chandler, Cain and Hammett are absolutely the Holy Trinity of crime; the Father, Son and Holy Ghosts of Noir. Leonard, however, is both the Word and death's echo. He is the ultimate end, the great inevitable ...more
Professional dirtbag Clement Mansell, always one or two steps ahead of where people expect him to be (among other things, the Oklahoma accent throws them off), has a lethal blend of practicality, ingenuity, and impulsiveness that c ...more
I'm only really ...more
I hereby declare that Elmore Leonard was a great crime novelist. Oh, you already knew that? Yes, I am new to his novels, but better late than never, right?
In Elmore's first book set in Detroit, rotten and despicable Recorder's Court Judge Alvin B. Guy is gunned down in his big Lincoln and acting police lieutenant Raymond Cruz and the homicide squad wonder which of the long list of his enemies might have had him killed, especially after he declared he could ...more
I think this may have been one of Leonard's first forays into writing crime and his later novels are really a lot better, but this was a fascinating read.
A crafty criminal,Clem ...more
I found “City Primeval” (1980) just sitting, unread, on my bookshelves along with another four Leonard titl ...more
The Library of America has recently issued “Four Novels of the 1980s” by Elmore Leonard. It is a great excuse for me to re-read these after almost thirty years. I can recall the broad outlines of the plots, but the details have gone the way of lots of other things over the years. In this ‘Detroit’ novel, Leonard immediately drops you into the middle of his story. It will take you a few chapters to figure out what is going on, but ...more
Learning writers are drawn to Elmore Leonard because his prose has so much to teach. Lesson number one: Make sure the reader is grat ...more
This book is, in almost every way, more a western than a procedural. At the same time, it is exactly a procedural. The blend of the two makes so much sense I'm surprised it's the first one I've read of its kind. At the same time, who could do it more perfect justice than Leonard?
I loved this one up to the point where it ended before I thought it should. Did Mr. Leonard get tired of the story or just run out of steam. I couldn't guess. To be fair, I'm probably being greedy and wishing for more of an already good story and great characters.
In memory of Elmore Leonard 1925-2013
“Now, now-lay off Detroit. Them people is livin’ in Mad Max times.” –Moe Szyslak, “The Simpsons”
When I think of gritty crime novels, I think of Elmore Leonard. When I think of crime ridden cities, I think of Detroit, Michigan. City Primeval combines these two for the best (and worst) of both worlds.
The novel’s two main characters are Raymond Cruz, a hard-boiled but noble homicide detective, and Clement M ...more
I came to this book in a roundabout fashion. I am a fan of Justified, and in one of the special features for the final season, the writers and producers specified this novel as an inspiration, not for a situation or character, but for the tone of one particular confrontation. Odd, that, but I liked said confrontation enough that, when I received my next Audible credit, well...
Now, this book is an oddity for Le ...more
The 'High Noon in Detroit' subtitle was most apt. This was a showdown between Detroit detective Rsymond Cruz, described by his opening interview by a news reporter as someone perceiving ...more
Enjoying Leonard’s early work as I catch up with him. Something clicked for me when I read Get Shorty. I think in the past I’d read him too fast. He does not waste a word, and if you blink you miss something.
Crime scene: ~There were people here, hanging around the unmarked blue Plymouth sedans, who had thrown on clothes or a bathrobe to come out and watch. Women holding their arms like they were cold.~
~Not the type, at fir ...more
in the matter of alvin b. guy, judge of recorder's court, city of detroit:
the investigation of the judicial tenure commission found the respondent guilty of misconduct in office and conduct clearly prejudicial to the administration of justice. the allegations set forth in the formal complaint were that judge guy:
1. was discourteous and abusive to counse ...more
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“Who’s that, a friend of yours?”
Mr. Sweety glanced over. He said, “This picture here?” and sounded surprised. “It’s Jesus. Who you think it was?”
“It’s a photograph,” Raymond said.
Mr. Sweety said, “Yeah, it’s a good likeness, ain’t it?”