A rampage of duplicity, blackmail, murder and revenge rollicks through the wild and wicked terrain that is vintage Crumley territory.
Texas is no place for tears. And Milo couldn't shed them if he tried. Bored with life, failing at his relationship, and running a tavern whose real business is cleaning dirty money, Milo aches for a change. Then he collides with a tall black man holding a Desert Eagle .50 who has just killed a drug dealer.
The gunman is good enough to buy Milo a stiff drink, then quickly disappears. Insisting that Milo help them run the towering man down, the cops are prepared to let the State of Texas put a needle in the shooter's arm. Milo doesn't want that to happen, so he had better find the fugitive first. But before he can take one step, he's hit by a wall of Texas voodoo.
Now Milo is free-falling into another country, a land of big money and small armies of corruption, of crooked politicians and two women willing to share their lust with a private eye with a bad back. By the time he knows the players and the plays, he's spit straight out of Texas, driving back to Montana for a meeting with a big man carrying a big gun—and a rendezvous with the most beautiful woman who has ever taken Milo for a ride.
A rampage of duplicity, blackmail, murder, and revenge, The Final Country rollicks through the wild and wicked terrain that is vintage Crumley territory.
IT WAS LATE NOVEMBER on the edge of the Hill Country, but I had learned very quickly that down here nothing was ever quite what it seemed. As I drove through northwest Austin that day, it might as well have been spring. The thin leaves of the pecan trees hadn't turned. People still mowed their lawns in T-shirts and shorts. Or in this upscale neighborhood, watched various illegal aliens hustle like dung beetles back and forth across the thick St. Augustine lawns through scattershot swarms of gnats. Overhead a brilliant afternoon sun floated in the rich blue sky polished cloudless by the soft southeastern breezes. A single buzzard overhead seemed to be keeping a weathered eye on things. Winter seemed a distant promise, bound to be broken.
Back home in Montana fall already would be hard upon the land, a thick mantle of snow draped across the peaks and high ridges around the Meriwether Valley, the cottonwood branches fingerbone bare, the western larch golden among the dark pines, and ...
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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.
Powered by a spare, ruminative prose style that recalls the best of Denis Johnson and Thom Jones, Controlled Burn is an unforgettable debut.
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