Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Pronto, by Elmore Leonard

(hb; 1993: first book in the Raylan Givens series)

From the inside flap:

"For twenty years Harry Arno has operated a sports book in Miami Beach, taking bets on all the pro games. And for twenty years Harry has been skimming the profits, shortchanging his silent partners, the local wiseguys. Harry is ready to retire to a villa on the Italian Riviera with his girlfriend, Joyce -- maybe even marry her -- when he bcomes the fall guy in an FBI assault on organized crime and has to run for his life.

"A U.S. marshal named Raylan Givens happens to know what Harry did in Italy in '45, during the war, and why it draws Harry to return, so Raylan takes off after the bookmaker to bring him back. Years before, on their way to a grand jury hearing, Harry ducked out and Raylan looked downright dumb. It would seem he's not going to let it happen again. or is it that he follows Harry to protect him from the Zip [aka Tommy Bucks, birth name Tomasino Bitonti], a gangster in the classic style who has his own reason to see Harry dead?"


Slick writing, colorful characters, and fast-paced action -- all Leonard trademarks -- comprise this fun, solid, quick-read crime/neo-Western novel.

Worth reading, this.

Followed by Riding The Rap.

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