Wednesday, July 16, 2014

RAYLAN by Elmore Leonard

As a huge fan of the TV series Justified, I knew I had to read this book about Raylan Givens, a U.S. Marshall in eastern Kentucky.  My favorite criminal ever is the smooth-talking Boyd Crowder, who doesn’t appear in the book until the second half, and even then he’s not the real villain.  In fact, this novel is really two stories sandwiched together, and in both cases the main bad guy is a gal.  The first half is about Dickie and Coover Crowe who decide to supplement their marijuana earnings by stealing kidneys and then selling them back to the original owner.  If you’ve watched the show, you know that the Crowes are not known for medical expertise, but a transplant nurse named Layla has the necessary skills.  Carol Conlan, a coal mining executive without scruples, dominates the second half, trying to use her womanly wiles on Raylan.  He, however, has his eye on a young poker player named Jackie, who slipped through the fingers of her captors after being arrested during a raid.  Meanwhile, Delroy Lewis, who has recruited three young women to rob banks for him, has a bone to pick with Raylan from a prior rap and goes after him, thinly disguised as a drag queen.  If all of this sounds too familiar, you must be a long-time follower of Justified.  I’ve only been watching for a few years, but my husband recognized the plotlines from some earlier seasons.  I read this book aloud to him during a road trip, and my best voice imitation was that of Dewey Crowe.  He figures into the second half as the possible heir to a prospective large coal site that Carol can’t wait to get her hands on.  A little old lady in a nursing home has other plans for Carol and, believe it or not, owns the best scene in the book.

1 comment:

Kris said...

I should really read more EL. So many books, so little time!