The story is of a high-diver who witnesses a murder while he's on his diving board, 80 feet above the ground. He then gets involved with different criminal gangs who have some scam going, which takes place during an American civil war reconstruction.
There were some laughs, and perhaps if I'd read the book in a single sitting I'd have been more absorbed with it, but it was a bit of a let-down, and I didn't think it was nearly as good as "Pagan Babies", which was Leonard's previous novel. Still, might be worth a re-read in a couple of years time when I've got a big slot of time available...
I was quite impressed at how the plot was pulled in different directions by the characters. On occasion he'd introduce someone as part of a story arc and it was as if he then lost control of them as they started bringing in their own narrative baggage: you could imagine Leonard saying "hey, get back in line - this is my story, not yours". But everything comes together in the end.
Completed : 12-Aug-2003
Completed : 23-Oct-2008 (audiobook)