Raylan by Elmore Leonard
*** ½ Hardcover 320 pages
This is the second novel I have read featuring Raylan Givens, but the first written after the launch of the FX TV series Justified based on the character. Leonard seems to have adopted the setting and characters as they appear in the TV show for this novel. Characters such as Ava, Boyd Crowder and the like all appear. I could be wrong I think most of those are creations of the show. I liked Pronto the last one I read but I had more fun with this novel which is somewhat divided into three story lines making it feel like three episodes of Justified.
The stories all connect, through Raylan of course. The first storyline was about Raylan finding a drug dealer clinging to life in a iced bathtub barely alive and missing a kidney. Of the three this first one was my favorite. The other stories involve the Harlan county mine and a company that is trying to buy and exploit a popular untouched mountain in the area. Last is the story of a Butler college student who gets involved in gang of female bank robbers.
Loenard's trademark dialogue is as sharp and witty as ever. Raylan has his best line ever in the last chapter. The stories are compelling and fast moving but again I thought the first 100 pages were the best Raylan story yet and stronger than the rest.