Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Freaky Deaky

Freaky DeakyFreaky Deaky by Elmore Leonard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Former bomb squad detective Chris Mankowski has trouble fall into his lap in the form of Greta Wyatt, aka Ginger Jones, an actress who has been raped by local millionaire Woody Ricks. But what does that have to do with Skip and Robin, the former hippies blackmailing Ricks, or his driver Donnell?

There are two things (that we'll concern ourselves with in this review) that I'm unable to resist: an Elmore Leonard book I haven't read yet and a bargain. Since this was both of those things, being 1.99 on the Kindle when I nabbed it, it was impossible for me to resist.

Freaky Deaky is a tale of two former hippies seeking revenge, a former bomb squad detective riding to the rescue of a rape victim, and of a former black panther wanting to get his cut of an alcoholic millionaire's money. Pretty much par for the course for an Elmore Leonard novel.

The more of old Dutch's novels I read, the more convinced I am that the man was slicker than a stick of butter going down a bobsled track. The dialogue is the star attraction, as always with Leonard books, and one of the criminals is at least as interesting as the protagonist, another Leonard standard. While I really liked Chris Mankowski, I thought Donnell Lewis was even more interesting.

Even though Freaky Deaky was one of those Elmore Leonard novels that passes as quickly as a summer day, it was not without some flaws. Chris and Donnell got a long a little too well near the end, probably owing to Leonard's flying by the seat of his pants style of writing. Also, I thought Chris and Greta fell into bed a little too fast. I'm by no means an expert on rape and rape psychology but I wouldn't have thought a rape victim would be up for consensual sex two days after the event. Also, I thought it was pretty high on the douche spectrum that Chris would go for Greta so soon. Other than that, Freaky Deaky was pretty good, the usual serpentine Leonard book of cool dialogue and double crosses.

Wait, I have to point out one last thing that bugged me. In the ebook version that I read, the last 20% was extraneous material like excerpts from other Leonard books. I thought I had a fifth of the book left and suddenly it was over.

While I think Elmore Leonard is one of the slicker crime writers to ever live, this is definitely a second or third tier Leonard book. Three out of five stars.

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