“La Brava” by Elmore Leonard – review

This wasn’t a book club book, but I’d not read it before.

Elmore Leonard was delightfully prolific which means I have the joy of immersing myself in several of his crime novels for the first time still to look forward to, even though Leonard died in 2013. Even a bad Leonard novel is good, and while not all of them may be as memorable as Get Shorty or Out of Sight there is always a pleasure in his narrative as it follows his tough guys or deadbeats as they see where their values take them, and react to circumstances and each other.

La Brava is by no means a bad Leonard novel, indeed it’s rather good, albeit not among the very best. Joe La Brava is a photographer, underestimated by a couple of thugs who are harassing a movie star who he remembers from his childhood. It is, of course, packed with Leonard’s laconic dialogue.

“You told me you were a millionaire one time.”

“Used to be” Maurice said. “I spent most of my dough on booze, broads and boats and the rest I wasted.”

Of course, every character has their own angle to work, and the interweaving schemes become confusingly entangled leading to some satisfying skirmishes as allegiances shift. Great fun.

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

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