Raylan, by Elmore Leonard

Raylan's a marshall who, on crashing the appartment of a suspected drug dealer, comes across something a bit more serious: the dealer's lying (still alive) in a bath, with his kidneys missing.

Very confident writing from Leonard: this must be one of his last books (if not the last, but he doesn't show any signs of decline. As usual, the reader has to work a bit to be able to follow what's going on: chapters start off with dialogue between characters you've not come across, and they're in the middle of a conversation about something you don't know about, so it can take some time to work out where you are.

Raylan's appeared in other novels (such as Riding the Rap) and I believe he's the inspriation for the TV series Justified. I can't remember the other books in detail but in this one he comes across a bit like Virgil Flowers in the Sandford books: a bit laid back and laconic, very self-confident and successful with women.

This book felt a bit like a series of short stories: the thing about the missing kidneys resolved itself about a quarter of the way through the book and I was thinking "what's left now then?". And while there was some connection with the first section and the rest of the book, there were definitely three or four separate sections with plot arcs of their own.

Pretty good, although maybe not as good as it would have been if it'd been a single story.

Completed : 08-Nov-2014 (audiobook, read by Will Patton)

[nickoh] [2014 books] [books homepage]