From Publishers Weekly
From sly title through breath-stopping climax to funny wrap-up, readers will relish Leonard's ( Maximum Bob ) latest roller coaster ride. South Miami Beach bookie Harry Arno has been skimming from his mafia bosses for years. After a ruthless FBI man spreads a rumor to that effect, in an attempt to get Harry to testify against his boss, "Jimmy Cap," the 66-year-old bookie splits early on his long-planned retirement in Rapallo, Italy. Rapallo is soon mobbed, so to speak, as Harry is joined by his girlfriend, his new bodyguard, Jimmy Cap's Italian-born enforcer "the Zip," a handful of Italian thugs and a deputy U.S. Marshal, Raylan Givens. All engage in a deadly dance before Raylan manages to get most of the good guys back to Miami, where the dance begins again. Leonard's spare language and propulsive plotting still leave room for expositions of Sicilian slang, gamblers' lingo and Ezra Pound's private life. His colorful characters work together splendidly, especially the top trio: Harry, whose drinking, posturing and willfulness endanger everybody; the lethal Zip, who models himself, literally, on Frank Costello; and Raylan, whose Stetson and apparent goofiness mask a hard past in bloody Harlan County, Ky. The only problem with the book is that it ends. BOMC and QPB selection; major ad/promo; author tour.
Raylan Givens is a great character--fans of new tv show Justified will like this book
Electrifying New York Times Bestseller "Speedy, exhilarating and smooth. Nobody does it better." The Washington Post Book World
Great Harry Arno and Jimmy Cap novel.
Another well-done yarn by the late Mr. Leonard.
I always enjoy Leonard's mixture of hard-core crime along with his sardonic humor. Well, this one was no exception. I read this one specifically because it is the novel with the first appearance of Raylan Givens, the unorthodox U.S. Deputy Marshall who is the main attraction of FX's hit series Justified. Just recently finished binging on the first 4 seasons of Justified and am looking forward to Season 5 which starts this week. Well Pronto includes the Raylan character in all of his no bullshit glory! Although this novel takes place while Raylan was still in Florida (before the Justified series takes place), it provides a good foundation for the character and includes some of his background not found in the series. The story has Raylan looking out for a sports bookie who has a contract out on him from the Miami mob for skimming profits (although he was setup by the Feds). Raylan ends up traveling to Italy when the bookie goes on the run (definitely not rural Kentucky). Anyway, Raylan manages to save the bookie's skin and winds up with his girlfriend as well as doing away with a few of the bad guys. Typical Leonard -- I'm looking forward to reading his other Raylan novels!
Not Leonard's strongest work.