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The hot kid [sound recording]
Leonard, Elmore
Adult Fiction LEONARD

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Leonard's 40th novel, set in the world of 1930s gangsters and gun molls, features characterizations so deft and true you can smell the hair oil on the dudes and the perfume on the dames. Young Carlos Webster tangles with his first gangster at 15, when bank robber Emmet Long robs an Okmulgee, Okla., store, kills an Indian policeman and takes away Carlos's ice cream cone. Seven years later, Carlos, now Carl, a newly minted deputy U.S. marshal, gets his revenge by gunning Long down, an act that wins him the respect of his employers and the adulation of the American public, who follow his every quick-draw exploit in the papers and True Detective magazine. Cinematically, Leonard introduces his characters-Carl's colorful pecan-farmer father, Virgil; Jack Belmont, ne'er-do-well son of a rich oilman; True Detective writer Tony Antonelli; Louly Brown, whose cousin marries Pretty Boy Floyd-in small, self-contained scenes. As the novel moves forward, these characters and others begin to interact, forming liaisons both romantic and criminal. At the stirring conclusion, scores are settled and the good and the bad get sorted out in satisfactorily violent fashion. The writing is pitch-perfect throughout: "It was his son's quiet tone that made Virgil realize, My Lord, but this boy's got a hard bark on him." The setting and tone fall somewhere between Leonard's early westerns and his more recent crime novels, but it's all pure Leonard, and that means it's pure terrific. Agent, Andrew Wiley. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

A defining characteristic of Leonard's fiction is his blurring of distinctions between good and bad guys. Fitting firmly in that mold, this latest novel is set in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl of the early 1930s. Its title character, Carl Webster, is a young U.S. marshal who rapidly earns a reputation as an efficient tracker of felons, thanks in part to a tabloid writer's enthusiastic documenting of his career. Carl is a crack shot but may be a bit too quick on the trigger, and he has a dangerous tendency to get involved with the women of the felons he chases. The morality of this seemingly invincible lawman may be suspect, but the fascination that his dangerous pursuits generates is not. This compelling story, with its evocative period setting and lots of quirky characters, receives a nearly perfect laconic narration from Arliss Howard. Recommended for most general collections.-R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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