If it's Elmore Leonard, there's bound to be an edge: comedy threatening to turn tragic as characters try to scratch itches they can't quite reach. This time there's so much scratching, you'd think the story was set in a swamp. Actually, it begins in one, as legendary bank robber Jack Foley escapes from prison in Florida's Everglades only to find himself in the trunk of a car alongside federal marshall Karen Sisco, an involuntary participant. Jack has been in prison a long time so the idea of being squashed up against an attractive female, even in less than ideal circumstances, has its merits, while Karen, who's always had a fondness for courting danger, feels a little frisson herself. Both escape the trunk without damage, leaving Karen to track Jack on the road to Detroit, ostensibly to apprehend him but maybe to get to know him better. Jack is even more smitten, so much so that while he's supposed to be helping a couple of con cronies plan a quick score in the Detroit suburbs, he's actually daydreaming about what it would have been like if he'd met Karen in a more conventional way. There's the edge that drives this exhilarating if melancholy tragicomedy: the yearning to be somebody else, to be able to do it a different way. Jack reminds Karen of Harry Dean Stanton in Repo Man: "both real guys who seemed tired of who they were, but couldn't do anything about it." You don't have to be a bank robber to feel that way, of course, which is why an Elmore Leonard edge cuts in several directions. A modern master still cruising at the top of his form. Bill Ott
I liked the book and don't fully understand the 3 star review but perhaps some don't like the twist of comedy. I give it a 4 star and enjoyed the book. Fairly fast, enjoyable read.