Riding the Rap

Elmore Leonard, Author, Mel Foster, Author
Elmore Leonard, Author, Mel Foster, Author Delacorte Press $22.95 (294p) ISBN 978-0-385-30847-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-440-21441-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-47356-8
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-385-32417-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 336 pages - 978-0-440-29539-6
Hardcover - 280 pages - 978-1-56895-224-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-06-008218-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 339 pages - 978-0-06-202029-1
Book - 978-0-06-199767-9
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-118594-6
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 352 pages - 978-0-06-054623-6
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-054625-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4178-0019-3
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-183997-9
Book - 978-0-06-199385-5
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Simple scams usually turn complex in Leonard land, where the author can doubtless choreograph his scammers' moves in his sleep by now; indeed, much of Rap appears to be riding on automatic pilot. Nevertheless, even middling Leonard is as good as anyone else gets on a good day. This darkly witty page-turner returns to the vexed, triangular relationship of Florida marshal Raylan Givens, his girlfriend, Joyce, and her ex-lover, the aging bookie Harry Arno (all seen previously in Pronto). When Harry disappears while chasing down a tardy debtor named Chip Ganz, Joyce admonishes Raylan to investigate. It turns out Chip is a middle-aged pothead living in his mother's seedy beach mansion, whose stoned analysis of televised hostage situations has fueled a baroque kidnapping scheme, into which Harry has stumbled. Like many a Leonard bad guy, Ganz only talks a good game. It falls upon an ex-con and his preening psychotic cohort to execute the caper, with help from an alluring psychic. Raylan's probe takes him into a shadowy New Age subculture of Tarot readings and Hugger conventions, which Leonard limns with characteristic grit and black humor. Ultimately, however, the story lacks the high voltage of Leonard's best work. (May)
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