Reviews for Raylan

Booklist Reviews 2011 December #1
Now the star of the FX television series Justified, U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens has been busy since he shot mobster Tommy "the Zip" Bucks in Riding the Rap (1995). Here Raylan finds himself more or less in exile, working not in South Beach but in Harlan County, Kentucky, Raylan's home turf, tracking marijuana growers. Then one of his dope peddlers turns up with his kidneys missing. Illegal organ harvesting in Harlan County? As Raylan tracks the kidney caper to a bent transplant nurse and her hired hand, we're settled in for some vintage Leonard shenanigans when, suddenly, we're off to the story of coal miners battling with a mining-company honcho. Turns out this isn't really a novel at all, but a series of three vaguely interconnected stories (the travails of a poker-playing college student follow the miners). Each story features plenty of Raylan, the fast-drawing, iconcolastic lawman who's never at a loss for words or bullets, but the disjointed nature of the whole is a bit disconcerting. Still, Leonard fans will willingly wolf down the master's signature dialogue and delightfully warped characters in any dish they're served. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A new Leonard book, even if it's number 46, and even if it feels a bit stitched together to take advantage of Raylan Givens' TV notoriety, is still an event for anyone with even a passing interest in crime fiction. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 January #1
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. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2012 January #1

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

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 December #2

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.)

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