Hot cars, gun molls, speakeasies, bank robbers and murder are the game in this powerfully entertaining story from Elmore Leonard, the undisputed ...Show synopsisHot cars, gun molls, speakeasies, bank robbers and murder are the game in this powerfully entertaining story from Elmore Leonard, the undisputed master of the crime novel. Set in Oklahoma during the 1930s, the "Hot Kid" introduces Carl Webster, one of the coolest lawmen ever to draw on a fugitive felon. At 21, Carl Webster's on his way to becoming the most famous Deputy US Marshal in America. He's shot and killed notorious bank robber Emmet Long, and is now tracking Jack Belmont, the no-good son of an oil millionaire with dreams of becoming Public Enemy Number One. True Detective writer Tony Antonelli is following the story, and this one's big, full of beautiful women, Tommy guns and a former lawman who believes in vigilante justice. The "Hot Kid" is one exhilarating story playing out against the flapper period of gun molls and Prohibition.Hide synopsis
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We meet The Hot Kid as a teenage boy, the son of a rich, Oklahoma farmer and oilman. He witnesses a robbery and double homicide that doesn't seem to bother him, but he is traumatized when the bad guy steals his ice-cream cone.
A dead shot, The Kid kills his first man at age 15. He grows up quick and hard and mean. He becomes a federal marshal, shoots all the bad guys in Oklahoma, marries a whore, and apparently lives happily ever after. That's it. That's the whole story.
The Hot Kid is certainly not a detective novel but more the terse biography of a human killing machine. It doesn't qualify as a mystery because there is nothing mysterious about it. Cerebral activity is nowhere apparent in the characters, nor is any mental capacity required of readers. What wit one finds in this book is pretty dim. There is nothing in The Hot Kid for fans of Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe but plenty for those who like Dirty Harry. One hopes, therefore, that The Hot Kid is not your typical, law-enforcement success story.
Moving quickly as it does from one shoot-out to another, The Hot Kid is hot stuff if you like that kind of stuff, but it's not so hot if you don't.
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