Maximum Bob

Elmore Leonard, Author, PH.D. Stine, Author
Elmore Leonard, Author, PH.D. Stine, Author Delacorte Press $23.5 (295p) ISBN 978-0-385-30456-6
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Darker than his usual fare (something very bad occurs to a good guy), Leonard's ( Get Shorty ) 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. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club featured alternates; author tour. (Aug.)
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