The Hot Kid

The Hot Kid

by Elmore Leonard

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Overview

Carl Webster, the hot kid of the marshals service, works out of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, federal courthouse during the 1930s.

Louly Brown loves Carl but wants the world to think she is Pretty Boy Floyd's girlfriend.

Tony Antonelli of True Detective magazine wants to write like Richard Harding Davis and wishes cute little Elodie wasn't a whore.

Jack Belmont wants to rob banks and become public enemy number one.

With tommy guns, hot cars, speakeasies, cops and robbers, and a former lawman who believes in vigilante justice, all played out against the flapper period of gun molls and Prohibition, The Hot Kid is Elmore Leonard — a true master — at his best.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062267276
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/13/2013
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 637,334
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About 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.


Versatile actor Arliss Howard has appeared in films by many renowned directors, including Steven Spielberg, in Amistad and Jurassic Park: The Lost World; Stanley Kubrick, in Full Metal Jacket; and Oliver Stone, in Natural Born Killers.

Hometown:

Bloomfield Village, Michigan

Date of Birth:

October 11, 1925

Place of Birth:

New Orleans, Louisiana

Education:

B.Ph., University of Detroit, 1950

Read an Excerpt

The Hot Kid

A Novel
By Elmore Leonard

William Morrow

ISBN: 0-06-072422-6


Chapter One

Carlos Webster was fifteen the day he witnessed the robbery and killing at Deering's drugstore. This was in the fall of 1921 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.

He told Bud Maddox, the Okmulgee chief of police, he had driven a load of cows up to the yard at Tulsa and by the time he got back it was dark. He said he left the truck and stock trailer across the street from Deering's and went inside to get an ice cream cone. When he identified one of the robbers as Emmett Long, Bud Maddox said, "Son, Emmett Long robs banks, he don't bother with drugstores no more."

Carlos had been raised on hard work and respect for his elders. He said, "I could be wrong," knowing he wasn't.

They brought him over to police headquarters in the courthouse to look at photos. He pointed to Emmett Long staring at him from a $500 wanted bulletin and picked the other one, Jim Ray Monks, from mug shots. Bud Maddox said, "You're positive, huh?" and asked Carlos which one was it shot the Indian. Meaning Junior Harjo with the tribal police, who'd walked in not knowing the store was being robbed.

"Was Emmett Long shot him," Carlos said, "with a forty-five Colt."

"You sure it was a Colt?"

"Navy issue, like my dad's."

"I'm teasing," Bud Maddox said. He and Carlos' dad, Virgil Webster, were buddies, both having fought in the Spanish-American War and for a number of years were the local heroes. But now doughboys were back from France telling about the Great War over there.

"If you like to know what I think happened," Carlos said, "Emmett Long only came in for a pack of smokes."

Bud Maddox stopped him. "Tell it from the time you got there."

Okay, well, the reason was to get an ice cream cone. "Mr. Deering was in back doing prescriptions - he looked out of that little window and told me to help myself. So I went over to the soda fountain and scooped up a double dip of peach on a sugar cone and went to the cigar counter and left a nickel by the cash register. That's where I was when I see these two men come in wearing suits and hats I thought at first were salesmen. Mr. Deering calls to me to wait on them as I know the store pretty well. Emmett Long comes up to the counter -"

"You knew right away who he was?"

"Once he was close, yes sir, from pictures of him in the paper. He said to give him a deck of Luckies. I did and he picks up the nickel I'd left by the register. Hands it to me and says, 'This ought to cover it.'"

"You tell him it was yours?"

"No sir."

"Or a pack of Luckies cost fifteen cents?"

"I didn't say a word to him. But see, I think that's when he got the idea of robbing the store, the cash register sitting there, nobody around but me holding my ice cream cone. Mr. Deering never came out from the back. The other one, Jim Ray Monks, wanted a tube of Unguentine, he said for a heat rash was bothering him, under his arms. I got it for him and he didn't pay either. Then Emmett Long says, 'Let's see what you have in the register.' I told him I didn't know how to open it as I didn't work there. He leans over the counter and points to a key - the man knows his cash registers - and says, 'That one right there. Hit it and she'll open for you.' I press the key - Mr. Deering must've heard it ring open, he calls from the back of the store, 'Carlos, you able to help them out?' Emmett Long raised his voice saying, 'Carlos is doing fine,' using my name. He told me then to take out the scrip but leave the change."

"How much did he get?"

"No more'n thirty dollars," Carlos said. He took his time thinking about what happened right after, starting with Emmett Long looking at his ice cream cone. Carlos saw it as personal, something between him and the famous bank robber, so he skipped over it, telling Bud Maddox:

"I put the money on the counter for him, mostly singles. I look up - "

"Junior Harjo walks in," Bud Maddox said, "a robbery in progress."

"Yes sir, but Junior doesn't know it. Emmett Long's at the counter with his back to him. Jim Ray Monks is over at the soda fountain getting into the ice cream. Neither of them had their guns out, so I doubt Junior saw it as a robbery. But Mr. Deering sees Junior and calls out he's got his mother's medicine. Then says for all of us to hear, 'She tells me they got you raiding Indian stills, looking for moonshine.' He said something about Junior setting a jar aside for him and that's all I heard. Now the guns are coming out, Emmett Long's Colt from inside his suit . . . I guess all he had to see was Junior's badge and his sidearm, that was enough, Emmett Long shot him. He'd know with that Colt one round would do the job, but he stepped up and shot Junior again, lying on the floor."

There was a silence.

"I'm trying to recall," Bud Maddox said, "how many Emmett Long's killed. I believe six, half of 'em police officers."

"Seven," Carlos said, "you count the bank hostage had to stand on his running board. Fell off and broke her neck?"

"I just read the report on that one," Bud Maddox said. "Was a Dodge Touring, same as Black Jack Pershing's staff car over in France."

"They drove away from the drugstore in a Packard," Carlos said, and gave Bud Maddox the number on the license plate.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Hot Kid 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
mamamia More than 1 year ago
This is a great audiobook and I think you would miss a bit by just reading it. The reader was great and the book was a whole bunch of fun.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It is such a fantastic, fun, interesting story peppered with heroes and villians of a bygone era that is still rich within our everyday lives. It is a story of fathers and the sons they raised - one who sides with the law, and one who doesn't - and the women they loved. I could not recommend this book more! It is so fantastic that you will wish is would never end!
cajunbear on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love all of Elmore Leonard's books. He has a keen insight into human nature and manages to portray good guys and bad guys as interesting humans. In some of his books the bad guys are much more honorable... In this book, the hero is a us marshal and a little full of himself, but is very interesting none the less.
debavp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I 'll fess up that this sub species as it were of the Crime, Mystery, Thriller genre is not one I'm at all keen on. I had another Leonard work on the bookshelf and had seen some decent praise for his work here on LT. But it was learning, again here on LT, that the FX series Justified was based on Leonard's work (I believe a combination of this series and a short story Fire in the Hole) that led me to jump up and get this read. I was pleasantly surprised that I really liked this. Leonard gives a bit of an almost insider's look at the wild west of the Bonnie and Clyde era, choosing not to focus on so many of the well known gangsters of that time, instead he hones in on some of the lesser-knowns and the main character's interaction with those. Carl Webster is without a doubt a member of the White Hat gang, traveling on the Law & Order side of the road, but it's Leonard's ability to let Carl wander towards the middle and get close at times to the bad side that's the most interesting aspect.
Peterabun on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun book. Great time period stuff from the early 30's and the Bonnie & Clyde era. Great characters as usual for Leonard.
writergirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Hot Kid is classic Elmore Leonard. He winds multiple characters together around one protagonist until the stakes are rocket high. In this case, the driving force is Carl Webster, U.S. Marshal during the prohibition era. Bank robbers, a journalist, a few wanna be gun molls and wealthy oil men surround Webster's life until the final bullet is fired in the last act. Many have written this is not the best Leonard tale told. Perhaps that's true from a plot standpoint, but The Hot Kid is still rich with dialogue gems and vivid characterization on every page. I guarantee that if this book had been released by a debut author, it would have made him/her instantly famous as a result.
peggyar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Takes place in the 1920's during the time of Prohibition and bank robbers. Our hero, Carl Webster, is a cool shooting US Marshal who finds fame along with the bank robbing gangsters that he chases.
ShelfMonkey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It is an odd statement, but Elmore Leonard is a breath of fresh air.Given that the Detroit-based novelist has been writing for more than 50 years, with dozens of books to his name, Leonard might appear to have nothing left to offer. But at a time when lame-brained, dim-witted Dan Brown-esque conspiracy thrillers take up valuable space on the bestseller charts, a writer of popular fiction who understands the important yet forgotten nuances of character and plot is a novelist to be savoured like a fine wine.Or moonshine, as the case may be. Set in the world of Oklahoma speakeasies and shootouts of the 1920s, The Hot Kid, Leonard's 40th novel, finds the elder statesman of crime fiction in top form, re-imagining the Prohibition Era with his signature blend of characters who are "so serious about being stupid," and jagged dialogue that goes down smooth as whisky.There are really two "hot kids" to contend with. The first is Carl Webster, a young deputy U.S. marshal famous for his catchphrase "If I have to pull my weapon, I'll shoot to kill." He has recently killed Emmet Long, a notorious outlaw who years earlier gracelessly took a bite of Carl's ice cream cone during a hold-up. As Carl's father Virgil puts it, "My Lord, but this boy's got a hard bark on him."The other hot kid is Jack Belmot, "18 years old in 1925, the time he got the idea of blackmailing his dad." The rotten son of an oilman, Jack is a criminal in classic Leonard form, a sociopath in love with his image yet nowhere near as intellectual as he pretends, a man who "had to let you know, if just by the tone of his voice, he was smarter than you were."You can practically hear Leonard cackle with glee as Carl and Jack repeatedly cross paths in cathouses and jazz clubs. Never once does he lose touch with what makes these two so special. Carl is always shouting distance away from Carl as the child, glowering with rage as peach ice cream dripped from Emmet Long's moustache, while Jack, the yang to Carl's yin, never rises above his innate ineffectiveness in his quest to become Public Enemy No. 1.If Leonard missteps, it's with his secondary characters. There are simply too many bartenders, madams and lesser criminal masterminds, all so evocatively presented that their eventual disappearance from the pages leaves the reader perplexed. As a result, Tony Antonellli, a writer for True Detective magazine who follows Carl's exploits, never feels like more than a narrative framing device, while Carl's main squeeze Louly, a former gun moll, remains a cipher.Leonard's last effort, Mr. Paradise, was almost a cruise-control effort for someone of his talents, a smoothly entertaining yarn that was nevertheless Leonard-lite, lacking a strong central character to revolve the ruckus around.The Hot Kid, however, is Leonard rejuvenated, a joyful, invigorating romp through what is now thought of as the golden age of crime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only read the sample but it still sucks :(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book acsally is good and i find it very intereesting. And to anyone who doesnt hint hint there dumb!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because, after the author died, I heard wonderful things about him. I've had the book for three months and I am on page 67. Why don't I just archive it and get an author that I love?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Man!!what a great audio book it really makes you feel like you are in the thirtys
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm convinced that Elmore Leonard is a literary genius. He just never seems to disappoint, despite a prodigious output. This is a brilliantly layered novel filled with characters just not found in other novels: 'quirky' is the usual adjective applied to Leonard's 'people,' and I'm powerless to come up with a better one. I absolutely love the way Leonard explores the minds of low-lifes and somehow makes them very appealing (I keep thinking of Ray Bones, Leo Devoe and super-opportunist Chili Palmer from 'Get Shorty': these are prime-time weasels but somehow we CARE about them). How the hell does he do that? In 'The Hot Kid,' he does it yet again with gangster wannabes and big-time losers who more or less worship or resent super-cool hero (maybe anti-hero) Carlos Webster. The plot bobs and weaves like a seasoned prizefighter, but Leonard is in total control of his material. The novel is not only exciting, but really gives us a highly readable and most interesting history lesson about the bad guys (and slimeball cops) who polluted the late '20s-early '30s in Oklahoma. Leonard is so good that he'll give you stuff that's so slyly funny and you're five lines ahead of him before you realize you've missed something hilarious. His dialogue is just so deadly accurate that it must be difficult for screenwriters to rearrange ANYTHING he's written. I don't envy them. Carlos Webster and 'The Hot Kids' who surround him are just waiting for the cameras to roll. I can't praise Elmore Leonard enough, and I'm amazed that he can still get it up so spectacularly at the age of 81. All hail the Dutchman!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hot lead hot babes great dialogue. Dutch paints a picture of Oklahoma in the 30's. Bonnie and Clyde, check your rear view mirror. There are very few writers who have the talent to have words written that actually speak to the reader.Elmore Leonard is one of the few.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With his newest novel, The Hot Kid, Elmore Leonard shows that maybe his future...should take place in the past. The exciting cops and robbers tale is his best in years, and stars Deputy US Marshal Carl Webster, who is Leonard's coolest creation since Chili Palmer, and one whom we''ll hopefully see again.
ChrisCW More than 1 year ago
This book was AWESOME, I've read it twice. Each time I read it I felt like I was in the 30's.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every time I read Elmore Leonard, I am in awe of his writing style. No one can quite match him, in my view. It's like he's sitting across from you, telling you a story. Absolutely great! Carlos Wesbster is one cool US Marshal who meets up with the likes of the Ku Klux Klan, gangsters from Kansas City, and one pestering gangster wannabe, Jack Belmont whose goal is to become number one on the Most Wanted list. References to Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, and other famous gangsters of that time make the read that much more fun. Exceptional book!