4.5 8
by Elmore Leonard

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“Almost unbearable suspense. Leonard has produced another winner.”

A wild ride with “the coolest, hottest writer in America” (Chicago Tribune), Bandits has everything Elmore Leonard fans love: non-stop thrills, unexpected twists and turns, unforgettable characters, and the most razor-sharp


“Almost unbearable suspense. Leonard has produced another winner.”

A wild ride with “the coolest, hottest writer in America” (Chicago Tribune), Bandits has everything Elmore Leonard fans love: non-stop thrills, unexpected twists and turns, unforgettable characters, and the most razor-sharp dialogue being rapidly exchanged anywhere in the crime fiction genre. Leonard stands tall among the all-time greats (John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain) and towers far above most of the writers currently plying the noir fiction trade. The master who created U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, currently of the hit TV series Justified, is at the top of his game, ensnaring readers in an ingenious plot hatched by a former jewel thief and a radical ex-nun to scam millions from a sadistic Nicaraguan colonel. In fact, the Philadelphia Inquirer says Bandits “may well be his best.” Read it and decide for yourself.

Editorial Reviews

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Crackles like a brown paper bag pulled up around a half pint.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Chapter One

Every time they got a call from the leper hospital to pick up a body Jack Delaney would feel himself coming down with the flu or something. Leo Mullen, his boss, was finally calling it to Jack's attenion. "You notice that? They phone, usually, it's one of the sisters, and a while later you get kind of a moan in vour voice. 'Oh, man, I don't know what's the matter with me. I feel kind of punk."

Jack said, "Punk, I never used the word punk in my life. When was the last time? I mean they called. Wait a minute. How many times since I been here have they called, twice?

Leo Mullen looked up from the body on the prep table. "You want me to tell you exactly? This is the fourth time I've asked you in the past almost three years now." Leo wore latex gloves and a plastic-coated disposable apron over his vest, shirt, and tie. He looked like a man all dressed up doing the dishes.

Jack Delaney stood in the open double doorway of the tiled room, about five feet from the head of the porcelain table — tilted slightly toward the sink — where Leo was preparing the body. It appeared to be a short balding man with a lot of body hair. The poor guy, his feet down at the other end pointing in at each other, a tag wired to his left big toe. Jack would never walk in here and look directly at a body. He'd take quick glances to guard against shockers, accident victims, sights that could remain vivid in your mind forever. This one seemed to be safe. Jack looked. Oh, shit. And looked away again. The guy must have been in a car wreck. He wasn't balding, he'd been scalped in front, given a sudden receding hairline through a car windshield. Jack ran ahand through his own hair. Then dropped his hand before Leo noticed and might tell him to get a haircut. He kept his eyes on Leo, who was squirting Dis-Spray, a disinfectant, into all of the guy's orifices, his nostrils, his mouth, his ears, all of his dark openings.

"All three times they phoned the times before," Leo said, "I seem to recall you came down with some kind of twenty-four-hour bug. That's all I'm saying. Am I right or wrong?"Jack said, "I've been to Carville. When I worked for the Rive's we'd go up there once or twice a year, tune the organ. One of 'em, usually Uncle Brother, would be on the console hitting notes, I'm up in the loft by the pipes, way up on a shaky ladder making the adjustments on the sleeve. I was the one with the ear."

Leo looked like he was tuning the organ of the guy on the prep table, lifting his private parts to spray down in there good, Jack watching, thinking the guy might've been proud of that set at one time. A little guy, but hung.

Jack said, "Have I mentioned I'm sick or not feeling too good?"

Leo said, "Not yet you haven't. They just called." He picked up a plastic hose attached to the sink and turned on the water. "Hold this for me, will you?"

"I can't," Jack said, "I'm not licensed."

"I won't tell on you. Come on, just keep the table rinsed. Run it off from by the incision."Jack edged in to take the hose without looking directly at the body. "There're things I'd rather do than handle a person that died of leprosy."

"Hansen's disease," Leo said. "You don't die from it, you die of something else."Jack said, "If I remember correctly, the last time Carville had a body for us you had a removal service get it."

"On account of I had three bodies in the house already, two of'em up here, and you telling me how punk you felt."

Jack said, "Hey, Leo? Bullshit. You don't want to touch a dead leper anymore'n I do."

Jack Delaney could talk this way to his boss because they were pretty good friends and because Leo was his brother-in-law, married to jack's sister, Raejeanne, and because Jack's mother lived with Leo and Raejeanne part of the year, the four or five months they spent across the lake, at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

Copyright ) 1999 by 1987 by Elmore Leonard

Meet the Author

Elmore Leonard wrote more than forty books during his long career, including the bestsellers Raylan, Tishomingo Blues, Be Cool, Get Shorty, and Rum Punch, as well as the acclaimed collection When the Women Come Out to Dance, which was a New York Times Notable Book. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty and Out of Sight. The short story "Fire in the Hole," and three books, including Raylan, were the basis for the FX hit show Justified. Leonard received the Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA and the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. He died in 2013.

Brief Biography

Bloomfield Village, Michigan
Date of Birth:
October 11, 1925
Place of Birth:
New Orleans, Louisiana
B.Ph., University of Detroit, 1950

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Bandits 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*he opens the door*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I do books on tape, unabridged, because I don't want to miss anything. This is the third El Leonard book I've done, but the first one to make me look for the sequel. Damn, but I can't find one! Come on, El, can you get Jack Delaney onto another 'caper' with Roy (after they patch things up)?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Pleasure." She sits down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He nodded, "Shatter."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you played fable youll know if you didnt sorry