Review: Raylan by Elmore Leonard

January 16, 2013 Mystery/Suspense, William Morrow 2

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (December 26, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0062119478
  • Source: Publisher
Raylan Givens certainly isn’t your typical U.S. Marshal. Sporting a Stetson, he’s a quiet, no-nonsense kind of guy.  Born in coal-country Kentucky, Givens is forced to return to this area of the country from Florida after he got a bit too… aggressive…during a case. Despite his lack of enthusiasm about this move, GIvens continues to put all of his heart and soul into solving each of the cases he’s dealt.
This novel is comprised of three different cases that almost read as short-stories or novellas on their own, the first of which involving a transplant nurse who becomes involved in an organ-stealing enterprise. The cases that follow include chaperoning an executive from a mining company, in hot water with the locals after suggesting the company strip-mine a mountain top.
Those familiar with FX’s popular series, Justified, will recognize Givens’ character. Having only watched a few episodes myself, I still can’t help but finding correlations between the televisions series and this novel. Leonard’s short, concise writing style contributes to this, almost making it seem as though I’m reading directly from a screenplay rather than a novel. The sudden shifts in cases without explanation almost mimic breaks in series episodes. The characters Leonard introduces are wholly unique and truly stand out. Those, added with the unique, concise dialogue, keep the pacing of the novel moving.
While this isn’t my favorite Elmore Leonard novel I certainly did appreciate reading more about Given’s unique character. As mentioned above, my only complaints about this novel would be the abrupt shift in cases, furthering my belief that this novel would have been better packaged as a series of short stories or novellas. That said, I wholeheartedly recommend this novel to fans of Justified desperate for a Givens’ fix!
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me the opportunity to review this book. Please be sure to check out the other stops in the tour.


2 Responses to “Review: Raylan by Elmore Leonard”

  1. Dean King
    Twitter: deanhking

    I love Leonard and Justified, which, according to the credits is based on Leonard’s story “Fire in the Hole.” Did not know this novel existed and am rushing to the book store right now. Thanks.