Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Hot Kid

As I've mentioned before, while I like Elmore Leonard's Westerns, I'm less fond of his crime novels, especially the ones he's written in recent years. While I was at the library a while back, though, I picked up his latest book, THE HOT KID, and took a look at it. Seeing that it's set in Oklahoma in the 1930s, I decided to give it a try. I tend to like novels set during the Depression. (I have a feeling that not having lived through the Depression makes it easier to appreciate it as a setting for fiction. I might not want to read about it now if I'd lived through it then.)

Anyway, THE HOT KID is pretty much a typical Elmore Leonard book. It has the things I like about his work -- the good action scenes and dialogue -- and the things that I don't like -- the style that's so clipped it's sometimes hard to decipher and the plot that meanders around so that it never seems to get anywhere. I think I liked this one a little better than some, though. Leonard does a good job with the period detail, putting in enough to make the era come alive without going overboard on it. There's also a decent ending that creates some genuine suspense rather than just petering out, as too many of the Leonard novels I've read have done. I saw on Sarah Weinman's blog the other day that Leonard's next novel will be a sequel to THE HOT KID. I'll probably read it, too.

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