Pronto, by Elmore Leonard

Tags:  crime-fiction
This is the first Elmore Leonard book I’ve read that just didn’t do it for me. One of the great strengths of crime fiction is that its characters' motivations are always clear. The criminals and the people pursuing them are driven by the most fundamental human desires: greed, lust, ambition, resentment, revenge, justice. Crime fiction can be compelling because these desires drive us all, to some extent, and because characters who personify the extremes of these desires act out in flesh and blood the battles that most of us struggle with internally.

Glitz by Elmore Leonard

Tags:  crime-fiction detective-fiction
Elmore Leonard’s Glitz opens with Miami Beach detective Vincent Mora getting shot by a dopesick junkie in his way home from the grocery store. The bullet goes all the way through Mora, just missing his hip. After surgery and a brief hospital stay, the main character seems to disappear from the story. We next find ourselves, inexplicably it seems, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, following an American tourist and the cabbie who has become his full-time chauffeur.

52 Pickup by Elmore Leonard

Tags:  crime-fiction
I’ve read a few of Leonard’s books, and this is my favorite so far. This one stands out from the others primarily for its portrait of the protagonist Mitch and his wife, Barbara. Leonard always does a good job of portraying criminals and people whose lives are on the decline. In Mitch and Barbara, he does an exceptional job of portraying two strong, intelligent people determined not to let their lives go down the drain.
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