UNKNOWN MAN #89 by Elmore Leonard
Kirkus Star

UNKNOWN MAN #89

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Like G. V. Higgins and R. B. Parker, Leonard shadows the urban crime scene (his city's Detroit--the pits) while looking over his talented shoulder at Ross Macdonald and Raymond Chandler. Nowadays Frank (or Jack) Ryan's mostly a process server, but willing to take on a special, profitable trace job: find Bob Leary, Jr.--all he's given is the name--for slimy Louisiana operator Perez, who tracks down stockholders who don't know they're stockholders and offers them the stock info in exchange for a big cut. Leary turns out to be a dangerous man to look for, a black psycho-killer with many enemies and an alcoholic blonde-beautiful wife. Dangerous--and elusive; he's dead before Ryan finds him, and now Mrs. Leary--Lee--is the stockholder and, inevitably, Ryan's new grand passion. Ryan tries for it all: drying Lee out with help from AA, getting her ail of the stock, double-crossing Perez. Bullet-holes and body-blows abound (Perez has some brutal, good ol' boy muscle; Ryan enlists Leary's murderer), but they're a convincingly integral part of the landscape, as are the drained faces, the sleeping hotel clerks, and the bars and streets where Leonard's highly watchable, not-so-dumb shows take place.
Pub Date: June 1st, 1977
ISBN: 0060082216
Page count: 369pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1977




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