Killshot Mass Market Paperback – Jan 16 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Crime fiction doesn't get any better than Leonard's new thriller, which, while it breaks no new ground, is a welcome retreat to his more direct style of classics such as 52 Pickup and Unknown Man #89 . When Carmen Colson and her ironworker husband Wayne stumble onto an extortion scheme run by Armand Degas, half Ojibway Indian, half French Canadian hit man, and his temporary partner Richie Nix, a talkative sociopath, the two killers set out to eliminate them, hiding out with Nix's girlfriend Donna, a former prison guard who collects stuffed animals and believes that Elvis is alive. In detailing the killers' relentless pursuit of the terrified couple, Leonard builds suspense with a deft, master hand, inducing an instant--and sustained--response of sweating hands and a racing heart. Even the most jaded reader will be swept along on the roller coaster of impending violence punctuated by heart-stopping crises. As always, Leonard writes with a natural ear for offbeat speech and a terrific sense of locale, moving the action from Toronto to Detroit and into Michigan and Ohio, telling the story almost totally through the thoughts and dialogue of the characters. In the Colsons, Leonard presents a more mature and realistic portrayal of a relationship than he has in the past, and he stirs up an uncomfortable fondness for the cruel but mellowing hit man Degas, all the while drawing the reader deeply into these ordinary lives. A bravura performance. Literary Guild dual main selection.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
In this fine adaptation of Leonard's best-selling novel, Wayne and Carmen Colson's quiet life shatters following their involvement in a failed extortion scheme. To escape from hit man Arman "Blackbird" Degas and his sidekick Richie Nix, the Colsons enter the Federal Witness Protection Program. They soon find out the program contains as many predators as does the underworld. As with all of Leonard's (Cuba Libre, Audio Reviews, LJ 6/15/98) works, it is his character development and dialog that propel the simple plot toward its chilling conclusion. Bruce Boxleitner's reading adds a special effect to the story, and the adaptation captures all the power of the original novel. Highly recommended for all collections containing Leonard's past works.?Stephen L. Hupp, Urbana Univ. Lib, OH
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
The chase that follows is one of the most suspensful and exciting sequences of events that I have ever read in any book, ending in an awe-inspiring climax that will leave you with sweaty palms and a pounding heart. Leonard capitalizes on his outstanding characterization in Killshot, making it seem like you have known Armand Degas since you were in second grade. Leonard does a superb job of painting the picture of a criminal's life, making Killshot a hard book to put down.
Killshot is one of the most well written books that I have ever read, one of Leonard's best (not an easy thing to be!) This book proves that Elmore Leonard is indeed the undisputed king of crime writing.
The reason this works so well for Leonard is that it lets him write to two of his great strengths. First, of course, is the world of criminals and cops. His criminals are always incredibly well drawn and always very distinct and three-dimensional. I have never read it anywhere, but I would guess that Quentin Tarantino must have been a big Leonard fan in his developmental years. His screen killers bear the hallmarks of Leonard characters; i.e. impassioned conversations about everyday things (like the two hit men in Pulp Fiction discussing McDonald's Big Macs) while dwelling in the sub-culture of crime and violence.
The second and less-commented-on strength Leonard has is the ability to portray the tugs and pulls of a male/female relationship with such effortless accuracy. In the interplay of the novel's husband and wife team, the subtle, aggravating, thrilling differences between man and woman are expertly rendered with a few classic, Leonard strokes. Also, Leonard is also the master at local color and authentic detail. His research and detail always has the feel of easy, unforced truth.
But let's face it; crime is what makes Leonard tick - the deal, the scam - and the men and women licking their chops over money and guns. It is certainly all here in this book. Here, it's an extortion scheme combining the efforts of an aging, nearly burned out hit man (Armand Degas) and a clever, hyperactive sociopath (Richie Nix). As always, Leonard develops his characters with subtle, concise power.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I'm a big fan of Leonard's books, but this one is a dud.
He breaks his own rules and gives us dull summaries of the lives
of the characters right as he's trying to get... Read more
Vintage Leonard - all of the interesting texture and humor one expects, and that wonderful sinking suspense that he seems to have lost track of lately.Published on June 11 2003 by D. Wright
I agree with the reviewer from Albuquerque who says "Killshot" is mediocre. I've read two books by Elmore Leonard, this one and "Maximum Bob". Read morePublished on March 14 2003
There are many interesting ingredients: a setting on the U.S.-Canada border; a cold-blooded Indian hit man; a psycho, rep-building sidekick; victims willing to fight back, one a... Read morePublished on Sept. 27 2002 by Thomas A. Liese
Killshot was my first Leonard book. I chose it because all of the rave reviews it has received here. Read morePublished on June 24 2002
A total slam bang hoot by the master of the hilariously dark satire.Published on Oct. 22 2001 by Waleed Eissa
Carmen and Wayne Colson are unwilling witnesses to the collision of killers Richie Nix and Blackbird. Read morePublished on Sept. 16 2001 by frumiousb
Armand "Blackbird" Degas and Richie Nix are Killers, one a professional and the other just a lunatic. Read morePublished on June 2 2001 by Paul Miller