When the The New York Times calls someone "the greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever," that's no small compliment. This talented author has shown an extraordinary range in his work, from westerns to crime stories (both contemporary and historical) to a novel about baseball and more.
In The Hot Kid, Elmore "Dutch" Leonard breaks new ground with a fast-paced, multifaceted tale of Prohibition-era crime, told from multiple perspectives that reflect the unexpected shifts of allegiance in this turbulent time. Set against a backdrop of speakeasys and shootouts, fast cars and even faster women, this stirring tale recounts a time when life was cheap on both sides of the law. The story unfolds in Oklahoma, featuring the exploits of four "hot kids" -- young lawman Carl Webster, bad-seed oilman's son Jack Belmont, glamorous gun moll Louly Brown, and true-crime journalist Tony Antonelli.
Carl Webster, since his first personal encounter with crime as a teenage witness to a brutal robbery by notorious crook Emmet Long, has sought justice. His keen mind and sharpshooter's eye quickly build him a hot reputation in the U.S. Marshals Service, especially after he declares, "If I have to pull my weapon, I'll shoot to kill" and proves he has what it takes to back up his claim...
Jack Belmont has big dreams. His goal is to join the ranks of America's most feared criminals…to replace John Dillinger as Public Enemy No. 1. This young outlaw has all the instincts of a cold-blooded killer, plus a powerful thirst for glory. He's got a long way to go to join the ranks of Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, and Machine-Gun Kelly…but he's off to a good enough start that Webster is hot on his trail...
Louly Brown started with nothing…but she wasn't about to settle for that. Her first claim to fame came when her cousin married Charley "Pretty Boy" Floyd. Later, running off with ex-con Joe Young added spice to her life. But she was smart enough to see that helping Carl Webster put a stop to Joe's crime spree would be a better deal than sharing his fate. After the smoke cleared, Louly really came into her own, selling her story to the papers, then setting her sights on the handsome lawman who'd captured her heart….
Tony Antonelli loves the danger and fame that come along with rubbing shoulders with heartless gangsters, dedicated lawmen, gorgeous gun molls, and bloodthirsty vigilantes in the course of his work for True Detective Mystery magazine. Whether he's writing about bank robbers or the Black Hand, the KKK or rum running, or hot young lawmen and cold-blooded killers and their sexy sidekicks, Tony views other people's troubles as more than just bread-and-butter; they provide an adrenaline-charged kick to his own life, as well as vicarious thrills for eager readers.
Elmore Leonard hits his target with The Hot Kid, an unforgettable tale of high adventure where the crooks are out to prove that crime really can pay and where federal marshals trade high risks for low salary to bring these wanted felons in "dead or alive." Sue Stone