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Riding The Rap [Mass Market Paperback]

Elmore Leonard
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 7 2010
It seemed like a brilliant idea. Three mismatched bad guys--a Palm Beach potted, a Bahamian ex-con, and a Puerto Rican gardener turned mob enforcer--get together to carry out the perfect crime: kidnap retired Miami bookie Harry Arno and let him pay the ransom with his ill-gotten wealth. He can't go to the cops later. No one will miss him. It's perfect. Or so they figure.



They figure wrong. Harry's former girlfriend, ex-topless dancer Joyce Patton, misses him a lot. Now she's sending her current boyfriend, Stetson-hatted federal marshal Raylan Givens, looking for Harry. And Raylan always gets his man. And in this case, he also gets his woman--the last person to see Harry, a sexy psychic named Dawn. Dawn may be clairvoyant, or she may be in on the kidnapping. Either way, she gives Raylan a lead, and he's hunting on Florida's 24-karat Gold Coast for three loco hombres...and trying to bring Harry back alive...


From the Trade Paperback edition.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Amazon

In this sequel to Pronto, Harry Arno has retired from bookmaking but is still closing out some of his outstanding debts. But then his collection agent, an ex-con by the name of Bobby Deo, goes to pick up $1,800 from Chip Ganz and ends up getting hired for a hostage-taking operation (like kidnapping "in a way," Chip tells him, "only different. A lot different.") When Harry's taken by his own man, it's up to United States Marshal Raylan Givens to track him down, in the same methodically relentless fashion he tracked Harry that time he ran off to Italy. Throw in a henchman named Louis Lewis with plans of his own and an attractive young psychic named Reverend Dawn, and you've got yet another crime story that'll keep you on the edge of your seat--occasionally chuckling to yourself--straight through to the finish. (And bonus points to loyal Leonard fans who can spot the crossover elements from Rum Punch and Maximum Bob.) --Ron Hogan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Simple scams usually turn complex in Leonard land, where the author can doubtless choreograph his scammers' moves in his sleep by now; indeed, much of Rap appears to be riding on automatic pilot. Nevertheless, even middling Leonard is as good as anyone else gets on a good day. This darkly witty page-turner returns to the vexed, triangular relationship of Florida marshal Raylan Givens, his girlfriend, Joyce, and her ex-lover, the aging bookie Harry Arno (all seen previously in Pronto). When Harry disappears while chasing down a tardy debtor named Chip Ganz, Joyce admonishes Raylan to investigate. It turns out Chip is a middle-aged pothead living in his mother's seedy beach mansion, whose stoned analysis of televised hostage situations has fueled a baroque kidnapping scheme, into which Harry has stumbled. Like many a Leonard bad guy, Ganz only talks a good game. It falls upon an ex-con and his preening psychotic cohort to execute the caper, with help from an alluring psychic. Raylan's probe takes him into a shadowy New Age subculture of Tarot readings and Hugger conventions, which Leonard limns with characteristic grit and black humor. Ultimately, however, the story lacks the high voltage of Leonard's best work.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to E.L. May 27 2003
By J Brown
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have not read many crime novels in my days, but i did really enjoy Riding the Rap. It was a fairly easy read which made it good to fly through it in a couple sittings. I really liked the story and like how the plot developed throughout the book. The characters all seemed to very well developed and interesting. I have not read any other Leonard books, but i will definetly seek to read more. I would recommend this book if you are looking for a simple read that will not take a whole lot of energy or time, but are looking for something exciting that will keep you interested until the end. It was not a real crime thriller or focus too much on the legality of the whole situation. As i read it, i was simply riding along with the characters as they proceeded on their journey of trying to become very wealthy. They simplicity of the story made it easy to stay interested and did not have a lot of low points. I hope that as i read more of Elmore Leonard, i can be as motivated as to get to the end as i was with this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Whets the appetite for more! June 10 1998
By A Customer
Format:Unknown Binding
This is the second time I've been priveleged to enter the world of Elroy Leonard, a world peopled by a multitude of hip, wierd, complex and most importantly believable characters. The other book I read was written some 20 years ago and it's amazing that one of his latest books, Riding The Rap, is so bang up to date. References to Resevoir Dogs no less! Rayland Givens, the good guy of the piece, is a great character: a good guy but with enough ambivalence about what he does and why he does it to keep him interesting and you guessing what his next move will be. Is the phsycic reverend really phsycic or is it all just a clever charade? And what will Bobby Deo, the cool dude hoodlum with the penchant for pruning, do next? Leonard gets you asking all these questions and, with a masterfully paced and ecomomical style keeps you turning the pages to find out the answer which, believe me, will not disappoint you. Alltogether a cracking read and I'm pleased as (rum!) punch to find out that Givens appears in another Leonard novel. I can't wait to reaquaint myself with the taciturn and straight shooting Texas ranger and another bunch of Leonard lowlifes!
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Mis-Givens" die hard. Oct. 9 1996
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Here's the scenario. Out of impulse, I walk into a store and who should I find but Mr Leonard sitting there in those flashy primaries he always wears. Sitting there and smiling at me, knowing he's got the stuff I want.
So there's no escape. I like his books. I buy his books. Not just that, I sit back and smoke them, inhaling every last deadbeat, no-gooder he scratches into the story. So what can I say about "Riding the Rap". I liked it, of course.

But I didn't like it as much as the book it follows on from, "Pronto". I don't know whether it would be different if I had read "Riding the Rap" before "Pronto" but do I know it made a big difference to how I read the "Rap".
In "Pronto" I had grown attached to his well drawn character, crack-shot US Marshall/Cowboy, Raylan Givens, so much so that I didn't want to see him come off the rails in any further adventure that Leonard might employ him in. So I had
some misgivings about "Riding the Rap". Fortunately they weren't all well founded.

In this, his latest novel, Leonard is successful in taking his hero to new levels, retaining his character but also revealing new aspects, even letting Givens's law abiding nature rule the plot a little. Givens is again in search
of old acquaintance and almost friend Harry Arno. This time Harry has been kidnapped and is in serious danger of being killed. Leonard turns up the temperature nicely as Givens hunts for Arno while the trio of kidnappers begin to
distrust each other and eventually lose control.

It's a good book. As a crime novel it's still up there and won't disappoint if you're looking for a crackling good yarn. But be warned, Mr Leonard. Your cowboy only has a six-gun. Use your remaining shots wisely.
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4.0 out of 5 stars God bless Elmore Leonard Nov. 3 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There's hardly ever a truly good guy in Leonard's books. Even the best of his protagonists who ride in on white horses to slay evil dragons have a dark side, a dark secret, or a dark sin. And the worst of the baddies all have some marvelous redeeming or hilarious quality that makes you root for them now and then.
There should be, instead of Murphy's Law, a Leonard's Law, in which some seemingly simple scheme will inevitably turn complex and twisted when this master of his genre gets hold of it.
In Riding the Rap, we get to revisit Florida Marshall Raylan Givins as he investigates the disappearance of his girlfriend's ex-lover. Don't ask. It's too complicated to go into details in a short book review. Just trust me: it's filled with the usual Leonard people-stew of weirdos, strange scams, superb dialogue full of lingo and slang, and and and and...
Not his very best, but very good stuff.
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2.0 out of 5 stars This is not Leonard's Finest Hour Nov. 25 1999
Format:Unknown Binding
Having read other books by Leonard, I found "Riding the Gap" to be weak in comparison. The book is a tale of three unlikable hoods who kidnap a bookie with the intention of getting him to give them money he has in an offshore account. The kidnapping is investigated by a marshal, Raylan, who is a likable main character, but that's about it. He seems to stumble thorugh his investiagtion. There are few plot twists and little surprise. If this is the first Leonard novel you read, then you will probably enjoy it more than a seasoned reader and writer of hard boiled mysteries like myself. Instead of reading this book, try get "Get Shorty" by Leonard and then come back to this one. You will then recognize the tremendous skill of this writer.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Raylan's cowboy ethics make him a favourite with the ladies and many a...
Raylan Givens returns to help out Harry Arno who's been kidnapped by three hapless criminals led by Chip, a skinny, sixty-something hippy living in the house of his hospitalized... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Len
5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely good read
A very engaging story that builds on its strange relationships between the characters towards an unexpected conclusion. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Omer L. Hageniers
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent as expected!!
Diologue and character are his trademarks and they are presented in top form here, along with a tight fast tale. Well recommended.
Published 11 months ago by History Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Riding the Rap
This is Elmore Leonard at his best. A Stetson-wearing hero, a soothsaying love interest, three greedy but likable villains, and--like in all Leonard novels--a story told through... Read more
Published on June 26 2004 by "quadshot"
3.0 out of 5 stars elmore leonard
elmore leonard is considered one of the best crime writers today.he paints everyday criminals with a certain realisjm and distinction. Read more
Published on July 29 2003 by avdr
3.0 out of 5 stars Awwwwww.... not his best
I guess even Leonard is entitled to an off day. Somehow this book gets stuck in the mud along the way which is so unlike the usual fare from this terrific writer. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2002 by D. Wolf
2.0 out of 5 stars Riding the Rap - Leonard
I'm not quite sure what I missed when I read Riding the Rap but I obviously missed something. I'm afraid that I can't honestly continue the string of rave reviews. Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2002 by Chris MB
3.0 out of 5 stars Past Prime
Compared to the truly wonderful Elmore Leonard classics, like City Primeval or Fifty-two Pickup, Riding the Rap doesn't come anywhere near the mark. Read more
Published on Feb. 1 2002 by Charlotte Vale-Allen
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good one from Leonard...
I've said it once and I'll say it again... no one writes dialog like Leonard. If you want to know where Tarentino got his inspiration for the off-beat dialog in Pulp Fiction,... Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2000 by Erik J. Larsen
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine, funny read.
This was my first Elmore Leonard. I came to him through Martin Amis's recommendation, thinking that any prose good enough for Martin would be good enough for me. Read more
Published on July 10 2000 by E. Hawkins
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