Raylan (Raylan Givens Series #3)

( 64 )

Overview

The revered New York Times bestselling author, recognized as "America's greatest crime writer" (Newsweek), brings back U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, the laconic, Stetson-wearing, fast-drawing lawman of Pronto, Riding the Rap, and the hit FX series Justified in this dark and droll page-turner filled with the sparkling dialogue and sly suspense that are the hallmarks of this modern master.

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Overview

The revered New York Times bestselling author, recognized as "America's greatest crime writer" (Newsweek), brings back U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, the laconic, Stetson-wearing, fast-drawing lawman of Pronto, Riding the Rap, and the hit FX series Justified in this dark and droll page-turner filled with the sparkling dialogue and sly suspense that are the hallmarks of this modern master.

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Editorial Reviews

Olen Steinhauer
This sounds bleak, and it is. But in addition to kinetic storytelling and spot-on dialogue, Leonard has a cool wit…[Raylan] Givens's one-line declarations help ease the reader through the desolate landscape, and so do Leonard's lively, idiosyncratic characters.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
MWA Grand Master Leonard’s fast-paced, darkly humorous third crime novel starring straight-shooting, supercool U.S. marshal Raylan Givens (after 1995’s Riding the Rap) pits Givens, a former coal miner from Harlan County, Ky., against three very different female crooks—a transplant nurse illegally harvesting organs, a viperous coal company vice president, and a poker-playing Butler University coed, who may or may not be robbing banks to support her habit. The author’s trademark witty dialogue and adeptness at developing quirky, memorable characters overshadows the novel’s plot, which reads like a series of interconnected short stories. For example, the plights of perpetually stoned dope dealers Dickie and Coover Crowe; their infamous father, Pervis “Speed” Crowe; and out-of-work miner Otis Culpepper serve to highlight the economic issues affecting Kentucky coal country. Readers will want to see more of the endearing Givens, the focal character of Justified, the popular FX TV series that starts its third season in early 2012. Agent: Jeff Posternak, the Andrew Wylie Agency. (Feb.)
Entertainment Weekly
“A punchy mix of crime and Kentucky coal-mine sociology . . . It’s one of Leonard’s best thrillers in years.”
Wall Street Journal
“The smarter crooks give Raylan grudging respect; his fellow lawmen grant him their highest praise: ‘You’re doin’ a job the way we like to see it done.’ The same can be said of the 86-year-old Elmore Leonard.”
Detroit News
“[Leonard’s] finely honed sentences can sound as flinty/poetic as Hemingway or as hard-boiled as Raymond Chandler. His ear for the way people talk—or should—is peerless.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“With a practised ease and the craft of more than half a century of novelistic composition, Leonard works like the Picasso of crime fiction . . . Raylan is as close as it gets to creating the complete illusion of unmediated entertainment on the page.”
New York Times Book Review
“In addition to kinetic storytelling and spot-on dialogue, Leonard has a cool wit. . . . Characters roll from scene to scene, urged on by self-interest and greed, bumping against one another and building up steam until they’re smashing together in orgies of violence.”
Los Angeles Times Book Review
Raylan is Leonard’s best of the 21st century—good stuff from first page to last.”
The Guardian (UK)
“There is no greater writer of crime fiction than Elmore Leonard, and no one who has more resplendent energy. . . . Like pretty well every Leonard novel, Raylan is a delight.”
The Guardian(UK)
"There is no greater writer of crime fiction than Elmore Leonard, and no one who has more resplendent energy. . . . Like pretty well every Leonard novel, Raylan is a delight."
Library Journal
Deputy U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens first appeared in Pronto and Riding the Rap. Then Raylan, as portrayed by actor Timothy Olyphant, became the hero of the hit Fox television series Justified. Now Leonard lays down another splendidly grimy crime yarn featuring his law-enforcing protagonist. Raylan finds himself drawn into a bizarre set of cases involving drug dealers, moonshiners, coal-mining conglomerates, and the urban legend-like harvesting of human organs. Yes, siree, Harlan County, KY, ain't no sleepy bunch of tree-lined hollers no more. Raylan, true to character, is willing to allow cocky law breakers enough leash to choke themselves. The bolder ones wind up in front of his pistol. VERDICT Leonard lovers will find the fascinatingly twisted personalities common to his fiction here, along with memorable trademark Leonard moments of humor, grit, and greed. Raylan will play well with his current popularity and won't disappoint fans of the books and the show. [See Prepub Alert, 8/21/11.]—Russell Miller, Prescott P.L., AZ
Kirkus Reviews
Raylan Givens, the U.S. Marshal who brought law and order to Pronto (1993), is back in a series of three interlinked stories disguised as a novel. The first and most successful of the stories complicates Raylan's apprehension of marijuana trader Angel Arenas with the discovery that the dealers with whom Angel was meeting left with his money, his grass and his kidneys, which they propose to sell back to him for $100,000 (the price they demand for either one or both). Raylan's questioning of Pervis Crowe, eastern Kentucky's top marijuana grower, soon leads him to a transplant nurse known, for excellent reasons, as Layla the Dragon Lady. Their encounter ends with a sizable body count and Pervis's oath of vengeance. Raylan's second adventure pits him against Carol Conlan, a law-school–trained vice president of M-T Mining, whose skills in dealing with the problems that beset her employer extend far beyond the courtroom. After their conflict ends in a standoff, Leonard introduces still another strong woman, poker-playing Butler College student Jackie Nevada, who's staked by aging horseman Harry Burgoyne, who'd appeared more briefly in the first tale. The villain of this third piece, Delroy Lewis, forces three of his female acquaintances to rob banks and then gets mighty annoyed when one of them ends up with an exploding dye packet. The fadeout finds Leonard acting as if he's wrapped everything up, but you have to wonder. A master's valedictory canter around a familiar track—an unimpressive job of carpentry that's still treasurable for Leonard's patented dialogue and some truly loopy situations handled with deadpan brio.
The Barnes & Noble Review

There's a streak of perversity in Elmore Leonard, contemporary American fiction's master of dialogue, choosing the laconic cowboy type as a hero for his crime fiction. True, Leonard started out writing westerns, but the characters who populate his crime stories are talkers, some profane, some funny, some sarcastic, many all at once. But they are talkers.

Raylan Givens, the U.S. marshal who first appeared in Leonard's short story "Fire in the Hole" and has since become the hero of the FX series Justified, occupies the center of Leonard's Raylan, essentially a couple of long short stories woven loosely into a novel. Leonard's Raylan is a bit more upfront about his appetites than he is in Timothy Olyphant's wittily underplayed portrayal of the character in the series. He's still no chatterbox, though.

Both Raylan and Justified are contemporary westerns, moving the conventions of horse opera to present-day Kentucky. Oxycontin ("hillbilly heroin," as it's called in one episode) has supplemented moonshine, but much else is still the same. Raylan is the upright, no-nonsense lawman, and the villains he faces (many of them) are the type of inbred bad news who caused problems for decent, law-abiding folks in pictures like My Darling Clementine, Man of the West, and Ride the High Country. Raylan, like every great western hero, is burdened by his own reputation, which in his case stems from the time he gave a Miami drug kingpin twenty-four hours to get out of town (and blew the bastard away when he didn't). That gets Raylan reassigned to the hometown he wanted to escape, back in the same territory with his scheming con man daddy, his ex-wife, and his high school crush, who's just taken permanent revenge on her abusive husband.

Leonard's novels have inspired some fine adaptations, both in movies (Out of Sight, Jackie Brown, the relatively unseen Killshot) and on TV (the late, lamented Karen Cisco). Justified may be the best anyone has done at capturing the novelist's mordant, flippant tone. The various brands of mayhem that have turned up on the show are greeted by victims and lawmen alike with a "Well, whadd're you gonna do?" shrug. As Raylan, Olyphant is what you might have seen if the young Gary Cooper had been a put-on artist. The marshal is a hot pistol who's had to learn to play it cool. His ten-gallon hat might be the cork that keeps his inner volcano from blowing. Much of the time Olyphant, who moves through each episode in lean, clean strides, seems to be privately amused by the corruption of the fools who mess with him.

As a novel, Raylan is a casual endeavor, Leonard having fun with a character who's gained a measure of popularity. It's also a pisser. Leonard has come up with some doozies for the plot: the dimwit sons of a backwoods pot grower joining in a scheme to swipe kidneys and then ransom them back for replacement in the victims' bodies; a female coal company exec who, annoyed with a local's complaints about the pollution caused by strip mining, picks up a rifle and shoots the old man. The violence here has the swift kick of a good, mean joke. It makes you wince and grin at the same time.

Raylan's a straight arrow, but he's not a stick-in-the-mud. He's not too upright to consider a dalliance with the transplant nurse who's masterminding the kidney-swiping scheme or that coal company exec, who hires him as her bodyguard. (His common sense wins out — by a hair — over his libido.) The compressed form of the stories is perfect for a writer who long ago learned to pare away every extraneous word.

There's another reason Leonard's creation and the TV show it spawned have clicked. A hero who sees the irony in being the tall, true man of the law — and is anyway — may be the only kind of traditional hero we can believe in now. In recent years, "cowboy" has come to be an epithet denoting ill-advised American military adventuring. But what's denigrated as cowboy behavior is almost always more appropriate to the recklessness of the outlaw that the westerner faces. Raylan keeps his own counsel, considers the consequences before he acts, tells those who oppose him what the consequences are, uses violence when it's called for but never revels in it and would just as soon avoid it. Among the other pleasures Leonard and his Kentucky lawman provide, they've restored the cowboy's good name.

Charles Taylor has written for numerous publications, includingSalon, The Boston Phoenix, and The New York Times Book Review.

Reviewer: Charles Taylor

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594528210
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/17/2012
  • Series: Raylan Givens Series , #3
  • Pages: 263
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard wrote forty-five novels and nearly as many western and crime short stories across his highly successful career that spanned more than six decades. Some of his bestsellers include Road Dogs, Up in Honey’s Room, The Hot Kid, Mr. Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, and the critically acclaimed collection of short stories Fire in the Hole. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Rum Punch, which became Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie BrownJustified, the hit series from FX, is based on Leonard’s character Raylan Givens, who appears in Riding the Rap, Pronto, Raylan and the short story “Fire in the Hole”. He was a recipient of the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA, and the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He was known to many as the ‘Dickens of Detroit’ and was a long-time resident of the Detroit area.

Biography

Elmore Leonard has written more than three dozen books during his highly successful writing career, including the bestsellers Be Cool, Get Shorty and Rum Punch. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty and Out of Sight. He is the recipient of the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He lives with his wife in Bloomfield Village, Michigan.

Author biography courtesy of HarperCollins.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Elmore John Leonard Jr.
      Elmore Leonard
    2. Hometown:
      Bloomfield Village, Michigan
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 11, 1925
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Orleans, Louisiana
    1. Education:
      B.Ph., University of Detroit, 1950
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Raylan

A Novel
By Elmore Leonard

William Morrow

Copyright © 2012 Elmore Leonard
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780062119469


Chapter One

Chapter One
Raylan Givens was holding a federal warrant to serve on a man in the marijuana
trade known as Angel Arenas, forty-seven, born in the U.S. but 100 percent
of him Hispanic.
"I met him," Raylan said, "the time I was on court duty
in Miami and he was up for selling khat. That Arab plant you
chew on and get high."
"Just medium high," Rachel Brooks said, in the front seat
of the SUV, Raylan driving, early morning sun showing behind
them. "Khat's just catchin on, grown in California, big in San Diego
among real Africans."
"You buy any, you want to know it was picked that morning," Raylan said.
"It gives you a high for the day and that's it."
"I have some friends," Rachel said, "like to chew it now and
then. They never get silly, have fun with it. They just seem to
mellow out."
"Get dreamy," Raylan said.
"What'd Angel go down for?"
"Thirty- six months out of forty and went back to selling
weed. Violated his parole. He was supposed to have made a deal
through that Rastafarian ran the Church?"
"Temple of the Cool and Beautiful J.C.," Rachel said.
"Israel Fendi, with the dreads, Ethiopian by way of Jamaica. Was
he in the deal?"
"Never went near it. But somebody put the stuff on Angel, some doper looking
for a plea deal. Swears Angel was taking delivery last night.
I doubt we walk in and find Angel sitting on it."
From the backseat they heard Tim Gutterson say, "He's looking
at two hundred and forty months this time." Tim going
through a file folder of Angel Arenas photos came to a mug shot.
"Look at that grin. Nothing about him armed and dangerous."
"He never packs," Raylan said, "that I know of. Or has gun thugs hanging around."
The SUV was traveling through a bottom section of East
Kentucky, creeping along behind the state troopers' radio cars,
following a lake that looked more like a river looping around on
its way down past the Tennessee line. A few minutes shy of 6:00
a.m. they pulled up to the Cumberland Inn.
The state troopers, four of them, watched Raylan and his crew slip on Kevlar vests,
which they wore underneath their U.S. marshal jackets,
and watched them check their sidearms.
Raylan told the officers he didn't expect Angel would resist, but
you never knew for sure.
He said, "You hear gunfire come running, all right?"
One of the troopers said, "You want, we'll bust in the door
for you."
"You're dying to," Raylan said. "I thought I'd stop by the
desk and get a key."
The troopers got a kick out of this marshal, at one time a
coal miner from Harlan County but sounded like a lawman, his
attitude about his job. This morning they watched him enter a
fugitive felon's motel room without drawing his gun.
There wasn't a sound but the hum of air conditioning. Sunlight
from the windows lay on the king size bed, unmade but
thrown together, the spread pulled up over bedding and pillows.
Raylan turned to Rachel and nodded to the bed. Now he stepped
over to the bathroom door, not closed all the way, listened and
then shoved it open.
Angel Arenas's head rested against the curved end of the
bathtub, his hair floating in water that came past his chin, his
eyes closed, his body stretched out naked in a tub filled close to
the brim with bits of ice in water turning pink.
Raylan said, "Angel . . . ?" Got no response and kneeled at
the tub to feel Angel's throat for a pulse. "He's freezing to death
but still breathing."
Behind him he heard Rachel say, "Raylan, the bed's full of
blood. Like he was killing chickens in there." And heard her say,
"Oh my God," sucking in her breath as she saw Angel.
Raylan turned the knob to let the water run out, lowering
it around Angel, his belly becoming an island in the tub of ice
water, blood showing in two places on the island.
"He had something done to him," Raylan said. "He's got
like staples closing up what look like wounds. Or was he
operated on?"
"Somebody shot him," Tim said.
"I don't think so," Raylan said, staring at the two incisions
stapled closed.
Rachel said, "That's how they did my mother last year,
at UK Medical. Made one entry below the ribs and the other
under her belly button. I asked her why they did it there 'stead of
around through her back."
Tim said, "You gonna tell us what the operation was?"
"They took out her kidneys," Rachel said. "Both of 'em, and
she got an almost new pair the same day, from a child who'd
drowned."
They wrapped Angel in a blanket, carried him into the bedroom
and laid him on the spread, the man shuddering, trying to
breathe. His eyes closed he said to Raylan staring at him, "What
happen to me?"
"You're here making a deal?"
Angel hesitated. "Two guys I know, growers. We have a
drink— "
"And you end up in the tub," Raylan said. "How much you
pay them?"
"Is none of your business."
"They left the weed?"
"What you see," Angel said.
"There isn't any here."
Angel's eyes came open. "I bought a hundred pounds,
twenty-two thousand dollar. I saw it, I tried some."
"You got taken," Raylan said. "They put you out and left
with the swag and the weed."
Now his eyes closed and he said, "Man, I'm in pain," his
hands under the blanket feeling his stomach. "What did they
take out of me?"
Raylan felt his pulse again. "He's hangin' in, tough little
whatever he is, Sorta Rican? I can see these growers ripping him
off, but why'd they take his kidneys?"
"It's like that old story," Tim said. "Guy wakes up missing a kidney.
Has no idea who took it. People bring it up from time to
time, but nobody ever proved it happened."
"It has now," Raylan said.
"You can't live without kidneys," Tim said.
"Be hard," Raylan said. "Less you get on dialysis pretty
quick. What I don't see, what these pot growers are doing yanking
out people's kidneys. They aren't making it selling weed? I've
heard a whole cadaver, selling parts of it at a time? Will go for a
hundred grand. But you make more you sell enough weed, and
it isn't near as messy as dealing kidneys. What I'm wondering . . ."
He paused, thinking about it.
Tim said, "Yeah . . . ?"
"Who did the surgery?"
About noon, Art Mullen, Marshal in charge of the Harlan
field office, came by the motel to find Raylan still poking around
the room.
Art said, "You know what you're looking for?"
"Techs dusted the place," Raylan said, "picked up Angel's
clothes, bloody dressings, surgical staples, an empty sack of Mail
Pouch, but no kidneys. How's Angel doing?"
"They got him in intensive care, maintaining."
"He's gonna make it?"
"I think what keeps him alive," Art said, "he's half out but
mad as hell these weed dealers ripped him off. Took what he
paid for the reefer— if you believe him— and left him to die."
"Didn't mention," Raylan said, "they took his kidneys?"
"I kept making the point," Art said. " 'Tell me who these
boys are, we'll get your kidneys back for you.' He commenced to
breathe hard and the nurse shooed me out. No, but his kidneys,"
Art said, "were taken out by someone knew what he was doing."
Raylan said, "They were taken out the front."
"They're always taken out the front. Only this was the latest
procedure. Smaller incision and they don't cut through any
muscle."
"I'd like to see Angel," Raylan said, "less you don't want
me to. I've known him since that time he was brought up for selling khat.
When I was on court duty in Miami. Angel and I
got along pretty good," Raylan said. "I think he believes I saved
his life."
"You probably did."
"So he oughta be willing to talk to me."
"He's at Cumberland Regional," Art said. "Maybe they'll let
you see him, maybe not. Where're your partners?"
"There wasn't anything pressing— I told 'em go on back to
Harlan."
"They took the SUV— how're you gonna get around?"
"We have Angel's BMW," Raylan said, "don't we?"
Angel was lying on his back, his eyes closed. Raylan got
down close, brushed Angel's hair out of his face, caught a whiff
of hospital breath and said in a whisper, "Your old court buddy
from Miami's here, Raylan Givens." Angel's eyes came open.
"Was that time you went down for selling khat."
Now it looked like Angel was trying to grin.
"Did you know," Raylan said, "I saved your life this morning?
Another five minutes in that ice water you'd of froze to
death. Thank the Lord I got there when I did."
"For what, to arrest me?"
"You're alive, partner, that's the main thing. Maybe a little
pale's all."
Pale— he looked like he was dead.
"They hook my arm to a machine," Angel said, "takes the
impurities from my blood and keeps me alive long as I can wait
for a kidney. Or I have a relative like a brother wants to give me
one."
"You have a brother?"
"I have someone better."
Smiling now. He was, and Raylan said, "You know I won't
tell where you're getting this kidney, you don't want me to."
"Everybody in the hospital knows," Angel said. "They send
me a fax. You believe it? The nurse comes in and reads it to me.
Tanya, tha's her name. She's very fine, with skin you know will
be soft you touch it. Tanya, man. I ask her she like to go to Lexington
with me when I'm better. You know, I always like a nurse.
You don't have to bullshit them too much."
"The fax," Raylan said. "You get to buy your kidneys back
for how much?"
"A hundred grand," Angel said, "tha's what they offer. You
imagine the balls on these redneck guys? They bring a surgeon
last night so they can take my fucking kidneys and rip me off
twice, counting what they stole from me. They say if I only want
one kidney is still a hundred grand."
Raylan said, "The hospital knows what's going on?"
"I tole you, everybody knows, the doctors, the nurses, Tanya.
They send the fax, then one of them calls the hospital and makes
the arrangement. Nobody saw who deliver them."
"The hospital knows they're yours?"
"Why can't you get that in your head?"
"And they go along with it?"
"Or what, let me die? They not paying for the kidneys."
"When do you have to come up with the money?"
"They say they give me a break, a week or so."
"You know these boys— tell me who they are."
"They kill me. No hurry, get around to it."
"And take your kidneys back," Raylan said. "I don't believe I
ever heard of this one. You know the hospital called the police."
"The police already talk to me. I tole them I don't know
these guys. Never saw them before."
"Or know who's telling them what to do?" Raylan said.
Angel stared at Raylan. "I don't follow you."
"You think your guys came up with this new way to score?
They can take whoever they want off the street," Raylan said,
"while this doctor's scrubbing up for surgery. Why should they be
picky, wait for a drug deal to go down?" Raylan paused. He said,
"You want, I'll help you out."
"For what? You find product in that motel room? Man, I'm
the victim of a crime and you want to fucking put me in jail?"
Finally they reached a point, Angel on a gurney on his way
to the operating room, Raylan tagging along next to it saying,
"Give me a name. I swear on my star you won't have to pay for
either one."
He watched Angel shake his head saying, "You don't know
these people."
"I will, you tell me who they are."
"You have to go in the woods to find them."
"Buddy, it's what I do." They were coming to double doors
swinging open. "I call Lexington with the names and they e-mail
me their sheets. I might even know these guys."
"They grow reefer," Angel said, "from here to West Virginia."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Raylan by Elmore Leonard Copyright © 2012 by Elmore Leonard. Excerpted by permission of William Morrow. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 64 )
Rating Distribution

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(22)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 64 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Raylan

    I love Elmore Leonard and I love the FX series Justified, led by one of the greatest TV characters, Raylan Givens. Inspired by the excellent series, Leonard decided to write a new novel featuring Givens, a U.S. Marshall in Harlan County, Kentucky. Raylan, as all Leonard's novels do, features spectacular dialogue, which is always entertaining to read, along with characters that are always interesting to follow as they go through several double-crosses and gunfights. Raylan isn't as much a novel as it is a book with inter-twined novellas. Reviews for the book have said that there are three "novellas", but from what I read, there are clearly four, excellent, fun novellas in Elmore Leonard's most recent criminal masterpiece.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    Loved it!

    It's Elmore Leonard...what's NOT to love??!!!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2014

    Amusing, reminded me of the show

    As I read this, I kept seeing the actors and actresses from "Justified" in the characters. I found myself laughing at some of the scenes. Will have to look for the first two books to see how the characters began. I enjoyed it & would recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    More Cornpone

    Resurrecting Raylan Givens, the U.S. Marshall from Kentucky given to wearing a Stetson cowboy hat and shooting instead of apprehending, Elmore Leonard once again uses his unusual talent for writing droll dialogue and creating amusing and unusual characters to entertain the reader. This time, he begins in Harlan County, where marijuana is king instead of coal (100 pounds of weed can fetch $300,000) which apparently doesn’t satisfy two nincompoop sons of the dope-grower who turn their attention to reaping and selling body parts.

    Then the author goes on to tell us about another cast of characters, with the slyness only he can muster. It’s a world only people created by Leonard inhabit, and they talk as only he can make them speak. Read it and laugh. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Glad I watch the television series

    I don't often think a television series or movie is better than the book but this is one of those times that I could have skipped the book. While I like the character Raylan Givens, the characters in the book are not well developed so if I had not already been familiar with them by watching "Justified" the book would have been very weak indeed. Also, the story seemed to have no cohesiveness. As a previous review mentioned, it was like two episodes written into a book. However, in this case there was no character development to meld the two together. I commend the producers of "Justified" for "seeing" promise in Raylan because this book was disappointing after watching the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2014

    Recommended

    Raylan is an interesting character and Elmore provides a little humor

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2014

    Not recommended

    Not one of Elmore Leonard's better works to say the leas.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    Certainly not EL's best

    This is more of a series of well-written stories than a novel. As Raylan wanders around Kentucky the plot meanders too, without any real cohesion. Ultimately, there is a tie, but the thread is very thin.

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  • Posted March 28, 2014

    Great read. Elmore Leonard is a master.

    I have been a fan of the series Justified since it came out. When I found out that it was taken from Elmore Leanord's novels I had to read them. I love his writing style and this book does not disappoint. The characters of Reylan Givens, Boyd Crowder, the Crow brothers and others are all introduced in this book. Loved it.

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  • Posted March 9, 2014

    Great read.

    If you're familiar with the tv series, you'll like this one. It has Boyd Crowder, the Crowes, and plenty of action. Raylan is bad-ass.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2013

    This was an awesome novel,filled with some eccentric characters.

    This was an awesome novel,filled with some eccentric characters.Carol Conlan is a wannabe iron lady of a mining company,Liz Burgoyne is like some version of paula deen with long dark hair and has an inclination to cheat on her husband and likes to drink,Cuba Franks is some street thug who used to have sex with Liz Burgoyne on the regular while her husband's away(picture 50 cent and Paula Deen),the crowe brothers are two redneck idiots who were selling herb and smoking it and then turned to being kidney snatchers and the list goes on.All the while in this story,my man Raylan Givens has to navigate through these and other characters in Harlan County,Kentucky in his way of being a modern day, wild west style law enforcer.Raylan is a very cool guy and I hope Mr.Leonard write more about Raylan Givens and I've been into the character since the short story"Fire In The Hole".This is truly a page turner.

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  • Posted March 15, 2013

    I have really enjoyed the first two Raylan Givens book, where he

    I have really enjoyed the first two Raylan Givens book, where he is a spectacular ensemble character with a winning attitude for deciding good and evil.  In this third book, entitled RAYLAN,  I have mixed feelings.  I liked it but don't particularly like the "combined short story" feel of Raylan in this book.




    The great theme of stealing kidneys from living people, and selling the kidneys back to their owners, was a great start to the book, but it needed more fleshing out before Raylan got involved.  I really hope Leonard will stick to expanding on his ideas for books rather than writing to the "money" because the TV show based on the first Raylan books is so successful!!  I suppose I am too hard on this terrific author, but I say this because he IS a terrific author!!!

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  • Posted September 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Raylan, Just Raylan

    Fan's of FX TV channel's hit show, Justified, will be excited to read Elmore Leonard's new book, Raylan. Justified is based on a short story by Leonard where the characters in the show were introduced. Raylan Givens is a U.S. Marshall who grew up in Harlan County, Kentucky. He worked in the coal mines as most men did, but got out as soon as he could and ended up in law enforcement. After a showdown in Florida where he shot and killed a fugitive, he is transferred back to Kentucky.

    Raylan is back with the folks he grew up with; his family and former friends, but things are not the same. Many of those he knew break the law routinely, and he is now responsible for bringing them in when they do so. The book is full of shady characters, from pot-growing and Oxcy selling drug dealers to a female coal-mine owner's thug, from poker players to men who will do anything for a buck. One of the more interesting characters is Boyd Crowder, a former miner who is now The Head of Disagreements for the coal mine owners. There are female bank robbers and a kidney-stealing ring who steals kidneys from the owners and then ransoms them back.

    Raylan is a laconic Marshall who speaks little but what he says others need to listen to. He is known for his ability to outdraw and shoot to kill when needed. The violence is casual but deadly, and the stories in the book contain betrayal and loyalty, shifting alliances and an underworld of criminals who are determined to rule the area. This book is recommended for crime novel readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    Weird collection of interlinked stories. Not as good as the pre

    Weird collection of interlinked stories.
    Not as good as the previous Raylan book "Pronto" or the story "Fire in the Hole." Nor as good as the series. But, a decent read nonetheless. Almost as if Leonard was writing treatments for the series (especially since the first story line in the book resembles parts of the second season).

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  • Posted July 15, 2012

    The Series is much better

    The plot is simple minded, it read like the author phoned it in. Skip this book. I've read a few Elmore Leonard books in the past, none of them have been "literature", but this one is further away than most.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2012

    Leonard's usual fine style!

    Loved it, love Raylan Have read Leonard for years, then rediscovered him when my husband and I got hooked on TV's "Justified". A great read, great characters, and close to authentic Southern accents and mind-sets. Loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    If you enjoyed the tv series, "Justified" you must read this one!

    Elmore Leonard fans will surely not want to pass this one up. I was not disappointed, even after watching all the tv episodes of "Justified" before reading the book. This character Rayland is really entertaining. U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens illustrates law enforcement in the most cynical and aggressive mode. A modern day Wyatt Earp on steroids.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Justified

    When I read this story I can help but imagine the characters from the TV show Justified. Everything in the story is brought to life comparing it to the TV show.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    Loved it!

    If you like the tv series 'Justified' you will love this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    pretty lame

    This book filled some time and that's all it was really good for. I almost didn't finish it but had nothing else to read at the time.

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