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Killshot [Mass Market Paperback]

3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
THE BLACKBIRD TOLD HIMSELF he was drinking too much because he lived in this hotel and the Silver Dollar was close by, right downstairs. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonard hits the bullseye May 11 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Elmore Leonard strikes again with Killshot. Killshot, one of Leonard's best books, greatly emphasizes Leonard's outstanding writing talent. The story is of a hitman named Armand Degas, aka Blackbird. Armand has a chance encounter with an ex-con named Richie Nix, when Nix hijacks Armand's car. The two become partners, although Armand is clearly the leader. While on a job in Michigan, the duo encounters Wayne Colson and his wife Carmen, witnesses to the crime. Armand and Richie need to eliminate these witnesses.
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Story of an aging hit man - Leonard style Feb. 27 2004
By M. Dog
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The theme of this book is one that Elmore Leonard uses often, and nearly always to great effect - a romantic couple is swept innocently into the world of crime and has to discover heretofore-unknown resources to save themselves.
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.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A dud! Dec 1 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 the plot going,
and it comes off flat. Plus, not a character that's very interesting here. Plot is uninteresting. Compared to Stick or Swag or Get Shorty, this book is just pedestrian.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! June 12 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another Stroke of the Master Sept. 27 2002
Format:Paperback
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 high-iron construction worker; an F.BI. agent with more libido than intelligence. At many points I said to myself "Oh no! They're not going to do that!" There were some tedious arguments among the killers and among the victims. The dialogue had a you-are-there authenticity. Some of the events didn't. The ending hits like a punch in the gut.
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4.0 out of 5 stars OVER THE TOP! Oct. 22 2001
Format:Paperback
A total slam bang hoot by the master of the hilariously dark satire.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ordinary people in extraordinary situations Sept. 16 2001
Format:Paperback
Carmen and Wayne Colson are unwilling witnesses to the collision of killers Richie Nix and Blackbird. Partly to avoid retribution and partly to avoid being caught, Nix and Blackbird decide that the world needs two witnesses fewer.
Leonard is excellent at taking ordinary people like the Colsons and turning them into heros. The detailing of the characters is up to his usual standard, and the book kept me reading eagerly until it was over.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Blackbird June 3 2001
Format:Paperback
Armand "Blackbird" Degas and Richie Nix are Killers, one a professional and the other just a lunatic. Carmen and Wayne Colson are a married couple who see too much and these two killers want to radically shorten their life span for them. The characters are well drawn and the pacing is just right with a little humor thrown in here and there. Along the way we learn a little about high ironwork construction, Mississippi riverboats, and the Federal Witness protection program along with how an Ojibway medicine woman can turn you into an owl. This is vintage leonard. A Newsweek reviewer said "Killshot" was probably Leonard's best and I'm not going to argue with someone who manages to get paid for doing this.
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