This is another good read from Elmore Leonard. His great skill is giving us convincing "slice-of-life" stories from a sordid world, filled with intriguing and often unsavory characters. Don't expect happy, tidy endings. Go along for the ride and enjoy Leonard's vision and voice.
Maximum Bob, the skirt-chasing, Florida judge has made a career of oversentencing vonvicted felons. Assasination isn't his only worry. His wife, who suffers multiple personality disorder, is embarrassing the family in Palm Beach. As bullets start flying, they all become tangled with a gang of smart crooks, foolish love and sweet revenge.
From Publishers Weekly: "Darker than his usual fare (something very bad occurs to a good guy), Leonard's latest is no less excellent. Elvin Crowe, of a habitually criminal Florida family, is out of jail and looking to run a scam on rich probationer Dr. Tommy Vasco, ex-friend (lover?) of Elvin's prison boyfriend. Turns out that all three were sentenced by illiberal Palm Beach County judge Bob Isom Gibbs, aka Maximum Bob. For $10,000 Elvin contracts to kill Gibbs, wondering if he can get more out of Dr. Tommy. Meanwhile Gibbs is trying to scare off his weird young wife, Leanne, a possible psychic sharing a body with Wanda Grace, a dead slave girl. Racist and sexist as any redneck, Gibbs has eyes for young Kathy Diaz Baker, probation officer for Elvin, Elvin's nephew and eventually Dr. Tommy. Still angry about a failed marriage to an Anglo cad, Kathy meets youngish detective Gary Hammond. They start working together (Who brought a gator to Gibbs's house? Who shot at the house? What's Elvin up to with Dr. Tommy?) and fall in love. Leonard's suspense, pace, humor and ear (probation officers talking shop, e.g.) are as wonderful, dry and true as ever."
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