Up in Honey's Room by Elmore Leonard
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Carl Webster comes to Detroit looking for some escaped German POWs. Will Honey, the ex-wife of a friend of the POWs, be his salvation or his downfall?
Yeah, I made the teaser way more exciting than the book. I hesitate to call any Elmore Leonard book bad but this one was definitely on the shitty side of good.
For my money, Elmore Leonard does his best work when pitting guys with various degrees of sleaze against each other in either Miami or Detroit and peppering it with slick dialogue. While this one has a Detroit setting, it's set in the 1940's which kind of removes a lot of the cool factor. Also, German POWs who barely speak English do not have the slickest dialogue in crime fiction.
I felt like I missed something regarding Carl Webster's past relationships with the POWs and why he was so determined to go after them. Turns out I was since that was previously detailed in Comfort to the Enemy and Other Carl Webster Stories.
While I thought Carl Webster was a cool guy, I also feel like he was Raylan Givens with a lick of paint. Actually, since Carl Webster has about as much written about him as Raylan Givens, maybe the writers of Justified drew some material for Raylan from Carl. Either way, I felt like this could have easily been a Raylan Givens story with minimal modifications.
My biggest gripe with this was that nothing happened for most of the book. I think the book suffered because the time period was a departure from Leonard's usual and the characters didn't lend themselves to his usual magic. Two stars. I refrained from giving it one star because the book didn't actually suck but it's definitely a bottom shelf Leonard.
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