With tommy guns, hot cars, speakeasies, cops and robbers, and a former lawman who believes in vigilante justice, all played out against the flapper period of gun molls and Prohibition, The Hot Kid is Elmore Leonard - a true master -at his best.
Carl Webster, the hot kid of the marshals service, is
polite, respects his elders, and can shoot a man driving away in an Essex at
four hundred yards. Carl works out of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, federal
courthouse during the 1930s, the period of America's most notorious bank
robbers: Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson -- those guys.
Carl wants to be America's most famous lawman. He shot his first felon when he was fifteen years old. With a Winchester.
Louly Brown loves Carl but wants the world to think she is Pretty Boy Floyd's girlfriend.
Tony Antonelli of True Detective magazine wants to write like Richard Harding Davis and wishes cute little Elodie wasn't a whore. She and Heidi and the girls work at Teddy's in Kansas City, where anything goes and the girls wear -- what else -- teddies.
Jack Belmont wants to rob banks, become public enemy number one, and show his dad, an oil millionaire, he can make it on his own.
With tommy guns, hot cars, speakeasies, cops and robbers, and a former lawman who believes in vigilante justice, all played out against the flapper period of gun molls and Prohibition, The Hot Kid is Elmore Leonard -- a true master -- at his best.
Carlos Webster was fifteen the day he witnessed the robbery and
killing at Deering's drugstore. This was in the fall of 1921 in Okmulgee,
He told Bud Maddox, the Okmulgee chief of police, he had driven a load of cows up to the yard at Tulsa and by the time he got back it was dark. He said he left the truck and stock trailer across the street from Deering's and went inside to get an ice cream cone. When he identified one of the robbers as Emmett Long, Bud Maddox said, "Son, Emmett Long robs banks, he don't bother with drugstores no more."
Carlos had been raised on hard work and respect for his elders. He said, "I could be wrong," knowing he wasn't.
They brought him over to police headquarters in the courthouse to look at photos. He pointed to Emmett Long staring at him from a $500 wanted bulletin and picked the other one, Jim Ray Monks, from mug shots. Bud Maddox said, "You're positive, huh?...
Elmore Leonard became interested in writing in 1935, after reading a serialization of All Quiet on the Western Front in the Detroit Times. Touched by the story, he wrote a play based on the novel for his fifth-grade classroom, using the desks as "No-Man's-Land." In 1951 Argosy magazine published his short story "Trail of the Apache." Other storiesall westernsfollowed. In 1953 he published his first novel, The Bounty Hunters, followed by four more over the next eight years. Between 1951 and 1961 ...
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Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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