Friday, July 3, 2009

Book Review: Elmore Leonard, Mr. Majestyk (1974)

I picked this one up because it appeared on James Lee Burke's pleasantly idiosyncratic list of the all-time best mysteries, which was published recently in Parade magazine. (Alternate interpretation of idiosyncratic list: James Lee Burke has not read very many mysteries.) Says Burke: "It’s one of the best portrayals of professional criminals I have ever read and a beautiful accomplishment in terms of dialogue and style." Mr. Majestyk is a noirish novel of the Average Guy school: melon farmer Vincent Majestyk cares about nothing other than saving his crop, but then he runs afoul of a local mobster and discovers that harvest time becomes more complicated when somebody wants to kill you. Tight, fast-paced, recommended. Grade: B+

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