LaBrava by Elmore Leonard. [read from Three Complete Novels, Wings Books, 1992]
1984 Edgar Award Winner for Best Novel
LaBrava is completely different than the one other Elmore Leonard book I’ve read, Djibouti, and more typical of what I expected from him. The title comes from the main character’s name, Joe LaBrava, a former Secret Service agent now living in Miami. Thanks to his friend Maurice, he meets his first childhood love, screen actress Jean Shaw. Unfortunately, this also introduces him to Richard Nobles, a thug who seems to have his eyes set on Jean. LaBrava sets out to save Shaw and quickly finds himself in the middle of what could be a big screen story.
Leonard’s writing is clean and precise. He doesn’t give you much more than the essentials and creates believable characters that are all flawed but still likeable when they are supposed to be the good guys. I’m never a fan of overly flowery prose so I like this about Leonard. I can’t say much more about it without ruining it for you. After reading LaBrava, I would read more of his books. If you are a Leonard fan, I recommend you read LaBrava.
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