Elmore Leonard (October 11, 1925) is probably one of the key icons among American novelists and screenwriters. His 30th book, Rum Punch, adapted into a film by Quentin Tarantino, has been released recently as a reprint and deserves a fresh look.
Set in West Palm Beach and Miami, the story follows Jackie Burke, a 44-year-old airline stewardess, who has been bringing cash into the country for a gunrunner named Ordell Robbie. When the cops try to use Jackie to get at Ordell, she hatches a plan—with help from bail bondsman Max Cherry—to keep the money for herself.
This is probably one of Elmore Leonard’s finest books: It is certainly funny and you can trace his deep understanding of the the characters he writes about in the story. Some critiques have complained that Rum Punch is written in such a way that the reader doesn’t care about any of the characters (well, that’s not a necessity) or there are many corpses and not too many twists. However, I belive this is part of the style the author has adopted and fits into his effort to create a rhythmic and colorful theme.
Leonard has always demonstrated that he is a good story teller and I believe Rum Punch delivers on the promise of a good story. I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. The Amazon link to the book: Rum Punch: A Novel
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