Road Dogs

Road Dogs

3.9 40
by Elmore Leonard

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Road Dogs is terrific, and Elmore Leonard is in a class of one.”
—Dennis Lehane, author of Shutter Island and Mystic River


“You know from the first sentence that you’re in the hands of the original Daddy Cool....This one’ll kill you.”
—Stephen King


Elmore Leonard is eternal.

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Road Dogs is terrific, and Elmore Leonard is in a class of one.”
—Dennis Lehane, author of Shutter Island and Mystic River


“You know from the first sentence that you’re in the hands of the original Daddy Cool....This one’ll kill you.”
—Stephen King


Elmore Leonard is eternal. In Road Dogs, the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award winner and “America’s greatest crime master” (Newsweek) brings back three of his favorite characters—Jack Foley from Out of Sight, Cundo Rey from La Brava, and Dawn Navarro from Riding the Rap—for a twisting, explosive, always surprising masterwork of crime fiction theSan Francisco Chronicle calls, “a sly, violent, funny and superbly written story of friendship, greed, and betrayal.”

Editorial Reviews

Robert Pinsky
Although it isn't always mentioned, Leonard's books have subjects. Road Dogs is about the varying degrees of truth and baloney in human relationships. Sometimes the truth or the baloney is lethal. Droll and exciting, enriched by the self-aware, what-the-hell-why-not insouciance of a master now in his mid-80s, Road Dogs—underlying its material of sex, violence and money, and beyond its cast of cons and thugs and movie stars—presents interesting questions.
—The New York Times Book Review
Patrick Anderson
At any given moment there are hundreds of men and women who, in the twilight of their careers, should be regarded as American national treasures. For example, the politician John Lewis, the musicians Willie Nelson and Ellis Marsalis and the novelist Larry McMurtry, to mention a few. To that list let us add 83-year-old Elmore Leonard, whose new book, Road Dogs, is yet another gem in a career that has endured for more than half a century and given us 42 novels.
—The Washington Post
Janet Maslin
Ordinarily the writer who turns to his own pages for inspiration risks looking lazy. But Mr. Leonard's crime stories are packed with players who deserve curtain calls. And there's nothing remotely wheezy about his way of throwing together Foley, Cundo and Dawn…Foley has the brains, Cundo the machismo and Dawn the shamelessness to make this one of Mr. Leonard's most enjoyably sneaky stories…[Leonard] still writes with high style, great energy, unflappable cool and a jubilant love of the game. As ever, his scorn for fussy prose is best expressed through his own superbly lean locutions.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
A smooth and stylish performance by Peter James goes a long way in resurrecting three of Leonard's most famous characters for this latest novel. Jack Foley, bank robber extraordinaire partners up with Cundo Rey while serving time in a Miami prison. With some help from Cundo's lawyer, Foley is soon out of his cell and hanging out at Venice Beach with Cundo's girlfriend, Dawn Navarro. As with all of Leonard's books, each of these characters will do whatever to whomever to get whatever they're after. James slides easily between the book's eclectic roster of characters, giving each of them clear and distinctive voices. Whether it's Cundo's Cuban-accented gangsta riff, Dawn's cold sensuality or Jack's unflappable cool, he handles it with aplomb. Leonard continues to write the hippest crime fiction in town, and James's reading fits well with the author's cooler than cool prose. A Morrow hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 2). (May)
Library Journal

Road dogs are prison buddies who watch each other's backs. Jack Foley and Cundo Rey are trying to maintain that loyalty after they get out and start anew in Venice, CA, where Rey's girl Dawn Navarro awaits. Leonard (Up in Honey's Room) brings back old favorites Foley and Rey, Dawn, and Karen Sisco-smart, sexy women and clever con artists, a mix the author knows well. Foley is being dogged by a rogue FBI agent who's convinced the infamous gentleman bank robber will strike again, and Rey's financial partner, Little Jimmy, is secretly in love with Dawn. The grifters' game of moving parts is quietly intriguing, but it never generates enough steam. This is Foley's story, and one can envision the movie already-his character was irresistible in Out of Sight. But there aren't enough capers or plot twists to make this one of the author's best. Leonard fans will be content, but steer newbies to Out of Sight or Tishomingo Blues. Expect high demand and buy accordingly, but be moderate in your enthusiasm. [See Prepub Alert, LJ1/09.]
—Teresa L. Jacobsen

Kirkus Reviews
Leonard throws together three battle-hardened survivors from his earlier capers, with predictably unpredictable results. Jack Foley (Out of Sight, 1996) robbed numerous banks before an amateurish mistake and a run-in with Bob Isom Gibbs, aka Maximum Bob, got him sent to prison for a 30-year stretch. There he meets Cundo Rey (LaBrava, 1983), the four-time killer from Cuba whose debt to society is much shorter. The two felons bond over the manifest injustice of Jack's disproportionate sentence, and soon Cundo's hooked Jack up with his smart-chick lawyer Megan Norris, who gets Jack's sentence knocked down to 30 months less time served. As a result, he gets to go home before Cundo, and the home he goes to is one of the two houses psychic Dawn Navarro (Riding the Rap, 1995) keeps for Cundo. Despite his FBI nemesis Lou Adams's certainty that Jack will rob another bank within a month, Jack and Cundo have their sights set higher than one more $5,000 score. They plan to insinuate Jack into Dawn's business, beginning with her high-value deal to free movie star Danialle Karmanos from the oppressive ghost of her late movie-producer husband. Even before Jack's met and charmed the susceptible Danny, he's already insinuated himself between Dawn's sheets, establishing himself as more than her business partner just in time to welcome Cundo back home. It's clear from the get-go that the real action here won't be the scam of Danny Karmanos but the drolly straight-faced efforts of the three co-conspirators to increase their share of the pot by reducing their numbers. Yet although the double-crosses are the stuff of the master's best work, they come across as telegraphic and obligatory, as if the tale were asketch for a more full-blooded novel. What works best are the matchless incidental pleasures Leonard's world always provides, from lightning-fast descriptions to bull's-eye dialogue, as when Cundo complains about Dawn's nagging: "Eight years inside I dream about her. I come out, she acts like she's my wife."Author tour to Chicago, Detroit, Miami, New Orleans, New York

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

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