Evenings at Mr. Paradise's house, there's always an old Michigan football game on TV. And when Chloe's around, there's a cheerleader, too, complete with pleated skirt and blue-and-gold pompoms. One night Chloe convinces Kelly to join in the fun, along with Montez Taylor, Tony's smooth-talking right-hand man.
But things go awry and before the end of the evening there will be two corpses, two angry hit men, one switch of identity, a safe-deposit box full of loot up for grabs, and, fast on the scene, detective Frank Delsa, who now has another double homicide, and this one with a beautiful, willful witness, to add to his already heavy caseload.
With a cool cast, snappy dialogue, and all the twists and turns fans crave, Mr. Paradise is Elmore Leonard at home in Detroit and sharper than ever.
©2003 Elmore Leonard, Inc.; (P)2003 HarperCollinsPublishers, Inc.
"You will love this excellent book." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Another exemplary crime thriller....Brilliantly constructed, wise and tough, this book, like so many recent Leonards, offers a master class in how to write a novel." (Publishers Weekly)
"Pure entertainment." (Booklist)
"Listening to Leonard's latest thriller is paradise found....Robert Forster's sonorous, sometimes raspy, voice is wonderful for the male characters." (AudioFile)
This one struck me as a little bit different than the average Leonard novel -- a touch slower, a little more thoughtful, and with the romance angle taking center stage more than usual. None of these are negatives, they're just different. This is a good read (or a good listen) for E.L. fans and newcomers alike. And the narration is great; I had absolutely no problems with it.
When I like a book, I really like it and I liked this one. So much so I got quite a few more Leonard books. A couple of them left me gaping in awe. "This guy is a genius, a Great American Writer," I thought, even if he writes genre material. Leonard effortlessly (seemingly) creates a world sentence by sentence rich with so much telling detail you find yourself deep within the characters, the places, the ethos of the criminal cop world. He loves his people, prostitutes, gangsters, good cops, corrupt attorneys etc. Oddly enough, his writing in this book especially is lyrical and poetic though some of the credit for that must belong to the narrator. I can listen to this book over and over.
I originally picked this title based on some of the reviews and for the simple fact that my late grandparents' name was Paradise, so I was sentimental in my choice.
Of course, I also love Robert Forester's narration after having fallen in love with his "Hit Man" character, Keller, written by Lawrence Block. He has the same delivery here - no nonsense and with an edge that is perfect for this kind of story.
I thought the novel itself was a good one - the characters wide-ranging and rather believable. The idea of someone getting caught in the middle of a crime they had nothing to do with isn't a new one, but the story played out in a fresh way.
If it matters, this was my first Elmore Leonard novel, and I would definitely seek more after listening to this story.
Except for the Elmore Leonard novels that have made it into film, this is my first of his novels and I am looking forward to reading some of his other books. The story is fast and entertaining. Robert Forster's reading of the novel is as dry as dry gets. Imagine a no nonsense kind of guy telling a long story. It takes a while to get used to his pacing and his subtle sense of humor. After a short while I found myself thoroughly enjoying his deadpan delivery. I can see where other listeners may not care for his understated performance but I've listened to the book twice.
I'm reminded of the house cleaners who advertise "WE DON't DO WINDOWWS'. Robert Forester is a narrator who doesn't do voices. Consequently,the characters,regardless of gender or ethnicity sound the same. Making it difficult ,at times,to follow the dialogue. That being said. It is Elmore Leonards's dialogue. What can I tell you? I enjoyed it.
I would've thought it was impossible, but this reader makes Elmore Leonard dull. The great thing about Leonard's books is the dialog, but this guy makes everyone sound the same. He reads like an accountant going over a tax return. No, make that a tired and bored accountant.
Elmore has done it again. If you want great pacing, great dialogue, great...great...great check out his book. Elmore can write real words spoken in the real world.
The reading is by far on of the worst I have heard. If I would of had the choice to give it back I would have done it in an instant.
If you are able to understand bits of the story, it is very well tought of and the characters are a delight. I hope never to run into this narrator again, it spoiled an othwerwise great crime novel
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