This was the first Leonard novel I read and it delighted me. Leonard is famous for his dialogue, which feels real, and often he can be very funny. I was particularly impressed with his grace in depicting sex and violence, which occur in moderate doses in his books. His characters tend to be criminals, some of them very scummy types, but he does not rub your face in gore and cruelty. Has a great ability to depict sort of red-neck hillbilly types with affection but without illusion. Good portrayal of cops as well.