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Raylan (Raylan Givens #4)

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,285 Ratings  ·  951 Reviews
“Elmore Leonard can write circles around almost anybody active in the crime novel today.”
New York Times Book Review

With more than forty novels to his credit and still going strong, the legendary Elmore Leonard has well earned the title, “America’s greatest crime writer” (Newsweek). And U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Pronto, Riding the Rap, Fire in the Hole) is one of Leonard
Hardcover, 263 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by William Morrow (first published 2011)
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Kelly Yes you should read them in order if you're planning on reading them all. There is also a short story between Riding the Rap and Raylan called Fire in…moreYes you should read them in order if you're planning on reading them all. There is also a short story between Riding the Rap and Raylan called Fire in the Hole. I love these books. Plus I love the TV series called Justified featuring Raylan Givens.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Feb 09, 2012 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
US Marshal Raylan Givens investigates a kidney stealing ring, acts as a bodyguard to a beautiful coal mining executive, and tracks down a missing college girl named Jackie Nevada who is a poker player and possibly a bank robber.

Bad Pun Alert: I've only seen the first season of the show starring Timothy Olyphant but I felt reading this book was Justified since I was already aware of Raylan from having read Pronto years ago.

Raylan purports to be a novel but it feels more like three linked novellas
Apr 27, 2012 Kemper rated it liked it
I see them long hard times to come…

Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens became infamous for giving a gangster 24 hours to get out of Miami and then shooting him when he failed to leave before the deadline. As punishment for his Wyatt Earp act, Raylan has been reassigned to a small office in Kentucky not far from where he grew up. Raylan isn’t thrilled to be back home where he frequently finds himself entangled with people from his past while trying to do his job.

There’s a lot of TV shows adapted from
James Thane
I've long been a huge fan of the books of Elmore Leonard, and I've also really enjoyed the television series, "Justified," which is based on Leonard's excellent short story, "Fire in the Hole." Given that, I was really anxious to finally have the chance to pull Raylan off my giant stack of Books-to-Read and have at it. I'm sorry to say, though, that the book did not live up to my (perhaps exaggerated) expectations of it.

Reading the book, it felt to me like Leonard might have decided to sit down
May 20, 2012 Angela rated it it was ok
If you've seen "Justified" this review contains minimal spoilers. If you have not, there are substantially more of them. Either way, here there be spoilers:

Whether you first discovered Raylan Givens through FX's Justified or have known him since Leonard first published "Fire in the Hole," you are no doubt hoping for an all-new adventure from the man who first introduced the world to the US Marshal from Harlan, Kentucky. If you are watcher of "Justified," you will be sorely disappointed.

Feb 01, 2012 Eric rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Elmore Leonard and/or Justified
This novel is three loosely connected vignettes, all tasked to U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens over the course of several days. First he is assigned to investigate a kidney theft, then to bodyguard a mining company's public relations woman, and finally to hunt down a female poker-playing college student suspected to be part of a gang of female bank robbers.

There is a lot of interweaving between the characters in the differing vignettes. While most is seamless, as a tight-knit community of hillfolk w
Sam Quixote
Aug 26, 2013 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing
Raylan Givens, US Marshal, looks up a weed dealer in a hotel room only to find him sat in a tub with ice and his kidneys missing. From there a twisting trail of murder, blackmail, land dispute, and cards unfolds taking in everyone from an elderly drug baron operating out of a food stamps store to a disgruntled nurse who decides to strike out on her own, to a band of bank robbing gals, and a poker playing girl called Jackie Nevada with her ace in the hole. Elmore Leonard's back and he's packing h ...more
Sep 18, 2013 Laurel rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, western
What fun! 263 pages worth of daydreaming about Elmore Leonard's character Raylan Givens, aka actor Timothy Oliphant, star of FX's tv series "Justified". I have to state for the record, that I have a soft spot for US Marshall Raylan Givens, the epitome of Kentucky cool. A perfectly shaped cowboy hat, blue jeans and a Glock-along with considerable wit and charm, and a certain level of fearlessness-these are the tools master storyteller Elmore Leonard gives his hero in
Raylan. This novel is the thi
Feb 23, 2012 Melissa rated it liked it
Poor planning left me almost without a book to read for the weekend for the second time in a month. Luckily, Timothy Olyphant, I mean, Raylan was sitting on the FT table at work on Saturday, so the day was officially saved. Normally I don't want to have a specific picture of someone in my head while I read a book (I refuse to watch the movie version of The World According to Garp for this reason), but in this case, let me tell you that it was not a problem at all. I'm going to write a review of ...more
I liked the book quite a bit. However, I'd already seen seasons 2 and 3 of Justified, so I'd already seen one incarnation of many of the actions that took place in the book. The book was written first, and the writers on the show cannibalized portions of it for the show, with some changes. I probably would have enjoyed the book more if I hadn't seen these scenes played out already. I will also say that the cast of Justified did an excellent job of bringing these pieces to life.
Feb 15, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it
An interesting hybrid of the literary version of Raylan Givens and the television version from FX's Justified.

Elmore Leonard borrows elements from the second season of the hit series and weaves them here. Raylan is the first time that Givens has taken center stage in a Leonard novel and hopefully won't be the last.

The novel has three distinct sections though each of them do have a bit of connective tissue beyond Raylan's involvement. In the first third, Raylan investigates a human organ traffic
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
It was a fun read. "Justified" is a favorite series of ours & this book has 3 episodes from the show, although they were apparently much changed for TV. Enough of the basics were there, but often characters & outcomes were completely different. It made for great reading since Raylan is still Raylan & that's what makes this.

Since I live in Kentucky, the show is local. That makes it even better. They really do capture many of the people in the area well.
Kevin Fanning
Nov 05, 2012 Kevin Fanning rated it did not like it
This is such a strange and awkward cultural artifact that I hardly know what to do with it.

The book is called Raylan, set in the typeface from Justified the TV show, and there’s our man Timothy Olyphant on the cover. We are led to think this is a novel that takes place in the universe of Justified the TV show. Or at least I was? But it’s not, and it doesn’t. There are two different universes, and it’s hard to see how one fits with the other.

There are characters here who are familiar (Boyd and
Terri Wino
Apr 03, 2016 Terri Wino rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Oh how I missed these characters. Justified, in my opinion, was one of the best shows on television...ever.
I enjoyed stepping back into the world of Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder and the rest of the crazy characters Elmore Leonard is so adept at creating.
Most of the storylines in this book were familiar to me because they had been incorporated into Justified in some form or another, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment while reading them.
It saddens me to know that with the passin
Paul Baker
Jan 19, 2013 Paul Baker rated it did not like it
Shelves: sucks
I am really not one to quit reading books before I finish them. I understand this can be a bad thing especially if the book sucks. That being said, I quit this book on page 36. I was just looking for an easy read that might have some good silly, yet clever humor in it, and I thought I remembered reading something before from this dude that I really liked. I never even saw the tv series before staring the book. Maybe that was part of the problem. One can only speculate. Everything just seemed so ...more
Feb 10, 2014 Eric_W rated it liked it
Shelves: westerns
Fans of the TV Series “Justified” (I am) will recognize all of the plots in this set of short stories tied together only by Raylan’s presence: the nurse selling kidneys, the coal mining VP trying to get contracts signed, etc. (He barely figures in the story about the poker-playing girl.) I regret Leonard won’t be able to write any more, but regretfully this is not one of his better works. Ironically, the TV series holds together better as a novel, especially in its portrayal of the coal-mining a ...more
Virginia Campbell
Jan 15, 2012 Virginia Campbell rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, suspense, fiction
I have a "Justified" obsession. From the very first glimpse of the original TV promos for the FX TV series, "Justified", I was a goner. When I finally got to actually watch the show--have mercy!!! Timothy Olyphant fits the character of Raylan Givens the way that Raylan’s Stetson fits his head! Perfectly! I must say that Timothy looks mighty fine in that hat, and he wears the hat, it doesn’t wear him. “Justified” is just about perfect in every way–an outstanding cast and astounding writing and ov ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 05, 2012 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: action
Like many people I came to know Raylan Givens on the TV show Justified. During the first season I ran down Pronto Pronto by Elmore Leonard, Riding the Rap Riding the Rap by Elmore Leonard, and even When the Women Come Out to Dance When the Women Come Out to Dance by Elmore Leonard. The Raylan I met there wasn't precisely the Raylan I got to know in Justified (though I did see familiar plotting and even story).

I've followed the program and liked the second season (though not quite so much as I did the first). The third season is so far good, so when Raylan by Elmore Leonard came out I snapped it up.

It's a good read. Fast
Jul 22, 2014 RandomAnthony rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-noir
So I heard Raylan wasn't that good, at least not as good as Justified, but the e-book arrived from the library website right after Leonard died so I thought I'd give it a shot, and I'm happy to say I liked the novel more than expected. The book's a quick read, despite the length, and I didn't feel bored or rushed. Leonard's books read like the best popcorn movies. They're fun, smart, and move fast. Justified viewers will recognize characters, scenarios (e.g. kidney theft), but a few modification ...more
Jan 06, 2016 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010s
Some of the best characters I've been fortunate to 'meet' in several years, particularly Raylan, Boyd and Art. Leonard is a master of dialogue.
Đorđe Bajić
Nov 26, 2014 Đorđe Bajić rated it liked it
Godine 2010. počelo je emitovanje Pravednika (Justified), serije inspirisane Lenardovom noveletom Vatra u rupi. Izuzetno zadovoljan ovom televizijskom adaptacijom, Lenard je u aprilu 2011. najavio novi roman u kome će glavni lik biti šerif Rajlan Givens, protagonista Pravednika. Roman Givensova pravda (u originalu: Rejlen) pojavio se u prodaji krajem 2012. godine. Lenard se opredelio za zanimljivu taktiku: čitaocima nije ponudio prednastavak ili nastavak Pravednika, već priču u kojoj je iskorist ...more
Feb 19, 2012 Raymond rated it it was ok
I love Elmore Leonard. Justified is probably my favorite show on right now. This book sounded like it would be a dream come true - Raylan Givens comes back home to his creator. I was looking forward to getting my grubby mitts on this as soon as I saw it announced. My copy came in at the library and I grabbed it and flew through it in three lunch breaks. Calling it a disappointment is an understatement. Instead of a great twisty typical Leonard novel focusing on Raylan, we are given three short s ...more
Mar 13, 2013 Jamie rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-dirty-south
I’ve been in such a malaise with reading these days. I’m grumpy with just about everything I’ve picked up. Every little grievance is obnoxious; I’m counting eyerolls and holding grudges. For each book I’ve read this month, I’ve chucked at least three more across the room.

So it’s to some extent hilarious that this is the book making me the exact opposite of grumpy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not odd in that... well, shall we say my love for Justified is not undocumented or insubstantial. But this
Clark Hallman
Apr 21, 2015 Clark Hallman rated it liked it
Raylan by Elmore Leonard – The Raylan Givens books by Elmore Leonard were the inspiration for the very popular and excellent TV series, Justified, which recently ended its last season. Of course U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens is the principal character and he is an enjoyable one, showing his confidence and skill with his firearm and his dialogue. In addition, Raylan’s boss, Art, his longtime frenemy, Boyd Crowder, Dickie Crowe, Dewey Crowe and others provide very interesting and unique characters t ...more
Apr 29, 2015 Marti rated it liked it
Not sure if I read any books by Elmore Leonard before. Anyway, Raylan is a US Marshall in Kentucky, sworn to uphold the law. Coal has been king, but is fading out, with people growing crops of marijuana instead. He meets any number of interesting folk--the college girl who plays poker for money, etc.
Lee Goldberg
May 28, 2012 Lee Goldberg rated it it was amazing
I read Elmore Leonard's Raylan in one sitting and it was a pure pleasure, his best book in years. The book is very episodic, basically a series of thinly connected vignettes that the writers of Justified, the kick-ass TV show based on an earlier Raylan Givens short story, have stripped for parts over the last two seasons, using just about every character, scene, action beat, and line dialogue. Even so, that familiarity didn't detract from my enjoyment, certainly no more so than reading any novel ...more
Rex Fuller
Feb 17, 2013 Rex Fuller rated it really liked it
Pure enjoyment. It stitches together several separately published stories, but it does so well enough you don't mind. Really hope this isn't the last Raylan Givens novel.
Todd Charlton
Apr 05, 2016 Todd Charlton rated it really liked it
Rounded up from 3 and a half because Elmore Leonard deserves to be rounded up. Raylan was written when Elmore was not long for this world. It is a fitting tribute to the writer and one of his greatest creations; Raylan Givens. The novel is told in three novella type segments. The first, and the best story, or situation, involves four people, one a transplant nurse, who drug people, steal their kidneys and in the great American tradition of entrepreneurship sell them back to the victim at a huge ...more
Jan 19, 2013 Larry rated it liked it
This novel is really three extended short stories (I almost said episodes) about Raylan Givens, deputy US Marshal from Harlan County, Kentucky. It benefits from my having watched the terrific TV series because the dialogue goes from being pretty good to being outstanding when you build in the voices of Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins, and Nick Searcy. In lesser hands, it would be serviceable, but not memorable.

The first part of the book deals with kidney theft. It is the best of the three parts
Jan 24, 2013 Dominick rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Once again, the need for a half-star category is evident. I was torn between ** and *** for this one, as it's probably better than just OK, but it's not great, for several reasons.

The key reason is plot--or, more precisely, the lack of a carefully-developed plot. There are four intervoven narratives in this book, one about a team that steal kidneys and resell them, one about a mining company's skullduggery trying to get access to a mountain, one about a thug running a ring of female bank robbers
Dec 23, 2011 Justin rated it liked it
For fans of the FX network's JUSTIFIED series (which is about to launch into its third season), RAYLAN will prove an adequate, non-televised addition to your library as you await the newest episodes.

Dissected into three interconnected vignettes, RAYLAN begins as a prologue, of sorts, to the major plot of the television show's first season (also serving as a follow-up to the short story that inspired the series). From there, the novel weaves dangerously close to the plot lines of the show's first
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Elmore John Leonard lived in Dallas, Oklahoma City and Memphis before settling in Detroit in 1935. After serving in the navy, he studied English literature at the University of Detroit where he entered a short story competition. His earliest published novels in the 1950s were westerns, but Leonard went on to specialize in crime fiction and suspense thrillers, many of which have been adapted into m ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Raylan Givens (4 books)
  • Pronto
  • Riding the Rap
  • Fire in the Hole

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“I always felt, you don’t have a good time doin crime, you may as well find a job.” 8 likes
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