Elmore Leonard, Author
Elmore Leonard, Morrow, $26.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-173517-2
Reviewed on: 08/23/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Leonard (Road Dogs) goes exotic with this eventually killer story of contemporary piracy set on the horn of Africa. Dara Barr, a documentary filmmaker newly arrived in Djibouti to make a film about pirates as a follow-up to her Oscar-winning Katrina documentary, and Dara's savvy friend and fixer, Xavier, stumble into a thicket of intrigue before the two are on the open water. Rogues they encounter include a "whirlwind Texas entrepreneur" sailing around the world; a crooked diplomat in league with a charismatic pirate, both eyeing a payday; and a pair of kidnapped al-Qaeda operatives, one an American citizen with a bounty on his head. Everyone has an angle or two, and once the plots stumble through an awkward first third, Leonard's hallmark breakneck pacing, crackling dialogue, and scalpel-sharp prose kick in. Seasoned Leonard readers will see some grays poking through—this at times reads like a quite good imitation of an Elmore Leonard novel—but it still beats the pants off of most of the competition. (Oct.)
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