I Posted on Saturday about our trip to the library; well I have already completed my first book from the trip and thought I would offer a quick review. If you are at all familiar with Elmore Leonard Pagan Babies is exactly what you would expect a faced paced tale full of twists and turns with every character being severely flawed. If you are not familiar with Leonard This book is probably not your best place to start I would recommend "road Dogs" or "Riding the Rap" or even "Get Shorty." Regardless it is a good quick read (255 pages) that flows very well.
To summarize the plot Terry ; who is pretending to be a priest in Rwanda during the Genocide of the early 90s goes back to his home town of Detroit; which he had fled due to an indictment for smuggling cigarettes. While there he meets up with Debbie who has just been released from prison for trying to run over her ex-boyfriend and has decided she wants to be a stand-up comedian. Before she chases her stand up dreams her and "the priest" decide to try to get even with her ex-boyfriend who had stolen $67,000 dollars from her only to later marry a millionaire and get half of the new wife's money in a divorce settlement. Things get even more twisted when we discover that Randy (the ex who Debbie had ran over) now owns an upscale restaurant and has a silent partner who is the head of the Detroit Mob.
Like Most of Leonard's books the story is almost entirely dialogue driven and there are swerves until the end. Another thing Leonard is good at is somehow making you like an anti-hero who is so deeply flawed that no one would actually like him. Such is the case in this book with "Father" Terry. There is really no reason to like the guy, but for some reason you find yourself rooting for him to get out of the situations he finds himself in.
Leonard has a way of depicted his heroines as just as shrewd and scheming as his leading men. He never rides the woman as a meek innocent victim, and I like that.
Overall this was a great easy read that I enjoyed. Certainly not an all time favorite but but typical Leonard. I would rate it a 3 out of 5 stars.