The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard

Book Details

Title: The Hot Kid
Author: Elmore Leonard
ISBN: 978-0-060-72422-1
Pages: 288 pp
Published Date: 2005
Publisher: William Morrow
Sub-Genre: Hardboiled


Publisher's Synopsis

Carl Webster, the hot kid of the marshals service, is polite, respects his elders, and can shoot a man driving away in an Essex at four hundred yards. Carl works out of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, federal courthouse during the 1930s, the period of America's most notorious bank robbers: Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson -- those guys.

Carl wants to be America's most famous lawman. He shot his first felon when he was fifteen years old. With a Winchester.

Louly Brown loves Carl but wants the world to think she is Pretty Boy Floyd's girlfriend.

Tony Antonelli of True Detective magazine wants to write like Richard Harding Davis and wishes cute little Elodie wasn't a whore. She and Heidi and the girls work at Teddy's in Kansas City, where anything goes and the girls wear -- what else -- teddies.

Jack Belmont wants to rob banks, become public enemy number one, and show his dad, an oil millionaire, he can make it on his own.

With tommy guns, hot cars, speakeasies, cops and robbers, and a former lawman who believes in vigilante justice, all played out against the flapper period of gun molls and Prohibition, The Hot Kid is Elmore Leonard -- a true master -- at his best.

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Book Reviews

You will find reviews of The Hot Kid at the following websites. "Leonard's 42nd novel lacks his trademark convoluted double- and triple-cross among the bad guys, the law, and the good guys acting just to the side of the law. Instead we get a down-home good guy with some trademark lines and a bunch of rascals throughout his career in the law." Read the reviews here

Book Reporter: "THE HOT KID, a work set in the Oklahoma of the 1930s. It is Leonard's most ambitious, and arguably best, work to date, rich in dialogue, characters, and subtle contrasts. Leonard focuses primarily on Carl Webster and Jack Belmont, two men of not-dissimilar backgrounds with divergent career paths." Read full review

January Magazine: "The Hot Kid is also not the sort of novel to have you hanging on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next. Oh, sure, maybe the yearning for fame that seems -- in different degrees -- to drive Carl, Jack, Louly and Tony is a wry, sideways commentary on our own celebrity-obsessed culture -- or maybe it isn't." Read full review

Neven Mrgan: "The Hot Kid is a fun novel, and most of the blurby cliches about Leonard hold true about it: you won't be able to put it down! He's a crime writer like no other!" Read full review here

Terrence McCauley: "In short, I liked everything that was on the page in the book, but I didn't like the way the story unfolded. It often doubled back on itself and switched points of view, retelling what had just happened from a different angle. I think the story would've benefited from a more linear format, since historical novels are more difficult to follow in the first place, given the audience doesn't have a frame of reference." Read full review here

The entire Elmore Leonard back catalog can be found on the Elmore Leonard page