Riding the Rap (Raylan Givens Series #2)

Riding the Rap (Raylan Givens Series #2)

by Elmore Leonard


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“Wicked and irresistible….Elmore Leonard is a literary genius.”
New York Times Book Review

Before U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens began electrifying TV viewers across America (in the hit series Justified), he “starred” in Elmore Leonard’s Riding the Rap—an explosive, twisty tale of a brazen Florida kidnap caper gone outrageously wrong. Chock full of wildly eccentric and deliciously criminal characters—including a psycho enforcer with a green thumb, a Bahamian bad man, and the beautiful, unabashedly greedy psychic Reverend Dawn—Riding the Rap dazzles with Leonard’s trademark ingenious plot turns and razor-keen dialogue. Gripping, surprising, and unforgettable, it is a crime fiction gem that any thriller writer—from past masters John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, and James M. Cain to the bestselling mystery auteurs of today—would be thrilled to call his own.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062122476
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/03/2012
Series: Raylan Givens Series , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 338
Sales rank: 172,189
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Elmore Leonard wrote more than forty books during his long career, including the bestsellers Raylan, Tishomingo Blues, Be Cool, Get Shorty, and Rum Punch, as well as the acclaimed collection When the Women Come Out to Dance, which was a New York Times Notable Book. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty and Out of Sight. The short story "Fire in the Hole," and three books, including Raylan, were the basis for the FX hit show Justified. Leonard received the Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA and the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. He died in 2013.


Bloomfield Village, Michigan

Date of Birth:

October 11, 1925

Place of Birth:

New Orleans, Louisiana


B.Ph., University of Detroit, 1950

Read an Excerpt

Ocala Police picked up Dale Crowe Junior for weaving, two o'clock in the morning, crossing the the center line and having a busted taillight. Then while Dale was blowing a point-one-nine they put his name and date of birth into the national crime computer and learned he was a fugitive felon, wanted on a three-year-old charge of Unlawful Flight to Avoid Incarceration. A few days later Raylan Givens, with the Marshals Service, came up from Palm Beach County to take Dale back and the Ocala Police wondered about Raylan.

How come if he was a federal officer and Dale Crowe Junior was wanted on a state charge...He told them he was with FAST, the Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team, assigned to the Sheriff's Office in West Palm. And that was pretty much all this marshal said. They wondered too, since he was alone, how he'd be able to drive and keep an eye on his prisoner. Dale Crowe Junior had been convicted of a third-degree five-year felony, Battery of a Police Officer, and was looking at additional time on the fugitive warrant. Dale Junior might feel he had nothing to lose on this trip south. He was a rangy kid with the build of a college athlete, bigger than this marshal in his blue suit and cowboy boots--the marshal calm though, not appearing to be the least apprehensive. He said the West Palm strike team was shorthanded at the moment, the reason he was alone, but believed he would manage.

And when he put his hat on and drove off with Dale Junior in the confiscated two-year-old Cadillac he was using, a dark blue one, an Ocala officer said, "He believes he'll manage..."

Another officer said, "Don't you know who that is? He's the one the Mafia guy drew on lastwinter in Miami Beach, the two of them sitting at the same table, and this marshal shot him dead. Yeah, Raylan Givens. It was in the paper."

"That why he didn't give us the time of day? I doubt he said five words. Shows us his star..."

The one who had read about Raylan Givens said, "I didn't get that impression. I saw him as all business, the kind goes by the book."

He said to Dale Crowe Junior, "I know you think you can drive when you've had a few. How good are you when you're sober?"

This marshal not sounding like the usual hard-ass lawman; Dale Junior was glad of that. He said, "I had a Caddy myself one time, till I sold it for parts and went to work at Disney's. You know what I tried out for? Play Goofy. Mickey Mouse's friend? Only you had to water-ski and I couldn't get the hang of it. Sir, I like to mention that these three years since I took off? I been clean. I never even left the state of Florida all that time, not wanting to be too far away from my folks, my old mom and dad, except I never did get to see them."

The marshal, Raylan Givens, said, "If you're gonna talk I'll put you in the trunk and I'll drive."

So neither of them said another word until they were south of Orlando on the Turnpike, 160 miles to West Palm, Dale Junior staring straight ahead at the highway, flat and straight through Florida scrub, boring, holding it right around sixty so as to make the trip last, give him time to think of a move he might try on the marshal. The man didn't appear to be much to handle, had a slim build and looked like a farmer--sounded like one, too--forty years old or so; he sat against his door, seat belt fastened, turned somewhat this way. He had on one of those business cowboy hats, but broken in; it looked good on him, the way he wore it cocked low on his eyes.

Dale Junior would feel him staring, though when he glanced over the marshal was usually looking out at the road or the countryside, patient, taking the ride as it came. Dale Junior decided to start feeling him out.

"Can I say something?"

The marshal was looking at him now.

"What's that?"

"There's a service plaza coming up. I wouldn't mind stopping, get something to eat?"

The man shook his head and Dale Junior made a face, giving the marshal an expression of pain.

"I couldn't eat that jail food they give you. Some kind of potatoes and imitation eggs cold as ice." He waited as long as he could, almost a minute, and said, "I don't see why we can't talk some. Pass the time."

The marshal said, "I don't care to hear any sad stories, all the bad luck and bum deals life's handed you."

Dale Junior showed him a frown. "Don't it mean anything I got nothing on my sheet the past three years, that I've been clean all that time?"

The marshal said, "Not to me it doesn't. Son, you're none of my business."

Dale Junior shook his head, giving himself a beat look now, without hope. He said, "I'll tell you, I thought more'n once of giving myself up. You know why?"

The marshal waited, not helping any.

"So I could see my folks. So I'd know they was okay. I didn't dare write, knowing the mails would be watched." When the marshal didn't comment Dale Junior said, "They do that, don't they?"


"Watch the mails?"

Junior said, "Oh, well," paused and said, "My old Dad lost one of his legs, had it bit off by a alligator this time he's fishing the rim canal, by Lake Okeechobee? I sure wish I could see him before we get to Gun Club. That's where we're going, huh, the Gun Club jail?"

"You're going to the County lockup," the marshal said, "to await a sentence hearing."

"Yeah, well, that's what they call it, account of it's off Club Road. So you're not from around there, huh, West Palm?"

The marshal didn't answer, seeming more interseted in the sky, clouds coming in from way out over the ocean.

"Where you from anyway?"

"I live down in Miami."

"I been there once or twice. Man, all the spics, huh? My dad's never been to Palm Beach or seen the ocean. Never got any closer'n Twenty Mile Bend. You believe it? Spent his whole life over there around Belle Glade, Canal Point, Pahokee..." He waited, eyes on the road before saying, "You know, if we was to get off near Stuart we could take Seventy-six over to the lake, run on down to Belle Glade--it wouldn't be more'n a few miles out of the way and I'd get to see my folks. I mean just stop and say hi, kiss my old mom..." Dale Junior turned to look at the marshall. "What would you say to that?" Pie waited and said, "Not much, huh?"

"Your old dad's never been to Palm Beach or seen the ocean," the marshal said, "but he's been up to Starke, hasn't he? He's seen the Florida state prison. You have an uncle came out of there, Elvin Crowe, and another one did his time at Lake Butler. I think we'll skip visiting any of your kin this trip."

Dale Junior said, "My uncles're both dead."

And the marshal said, "By gunshot, huh? You understand how I see your people?"

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Riding the Rap 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
This is Leonard's second Raylan Givens novel, that the show 'Justified' is based on.  Once again, Raylan seems to spend most of his time going off on his own, rather than sticking purely with his US Marshall services job.    Harry, from 'Pronto' , the first Raylan Givens' book, is a retired bookie who returns In this book.   After running from the mob in book one, he is kidnapped by a trio of truly strange characters in this book.  Raylan gets involved with a beautiful young psychic; an old woman whose memory has gone, and her druggie son who is selling everything out of her mansion; a brash you man who dreams of killing situations that make him look macho;  and a truly crazy enforcer. Raylan  continues to be his own man.  This quality makes him, and his stories, uniquely interesting.  Sometimes I wish Elmore Leonard wasn't so stereotypically racist with every group one could possible think about in his books.  The saving grace with this, I believe, is to show the stupidity of these attitudes. Gently macho is definitely in, as Raylan determines his own means of justice!!
McCarthy92 More than 1 year ago
2011, for me, has been the year of Elmore Leonard. Prior to the new year, I had not read any of his highly praised works and Riding the Rap would be the fourth novel of his that I've read. Riding the Rap is the second novel to feature Raylan Givens, the U.S. Marshal from the excellent FX Series Justified. Viewers of the show will notice that the episode "The Fixer" is an adaptation of this novel. And while the episode is a great episode, because the book has so much more details, and characters, the fun is doubled. Leonard writes such great dialogue that is fun to just say out loud while you're reading it. Everything is great in yet another amazing piece by Elmore Leonard.
Guest More than 1 year ago
a complete page turners, the characters seem more then real, i think i'm hooked on this author!
snat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Oh, Raylan Givens. Life was so dark before I knew you.For those unfamiliar with the television show Justified, this novel (along with Pronto) serves as the inspiration for the story of Raylan Givens, a U. S. Marshal from Harlan, Kentucky, who has a gun on his hip, a Stetson on his head, and a chip on his shoulder. Torn between coal country's familial "code of honor" and his own desire to be an Old West cowboy meting out justice based on a black/white understanding of right and wrong, Raylan often finds himself in the questionable middle ground of moral decisions. At least, that's the tv version. In the novels, Raylan is an interesting character, but not nearly as angry or hell-bent on a path of self-destruction. I prefer the television version better, but the books are still well worth reading and it's interesting to see how Justified has molded Leonard's original concept of Raylan into the perfect anti-hero.In the novel, Raylan is not banished to Harlan, Kentucky, after shooting a local Florida mobster, so we don't get to see him interact with his past or the culture he left behind when he joined the Marshal's service. Instead, Riding the Rap picks up where Pronto left off. Raylan is still seeing Harry Arno's ex-stripper ex-girlfriend, Joyce, but is beginning to realize that their relationship has begun something of habit. They're both sticking around because they have nowhere else to go. The fact that Joyce is now acting as Harry's personal chauffeur isn't helping things. A retired bookie, Harry is making final collections when a former client decides to kidnap him Middle-Eastern-terrorist-style until Harry breaks and offers to pay his own ransom. In the meantime, Joyce demands that Raylan look into Harry's mysterious disappearance and Raylan grudgingly begins piecing things together with his own peculiar investigative methods (which usually depend upon throwing people off guard with his cowboy in a suit persona).There are some twists here that aren't in the series, and I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of Reverend Dawn, a young psychic that readers suspect, despite some of her obvious scams, may be possessed of a limited psychic ability. The scenes where she and Raylan talk are full of Leonard's usual witty banter and sharp dialogue. (Suggestion for Justified producers: how 'bout let's kill Winona off and bring in Dawn? Just saying.)In addition, there are some nice surprises for fans of the show when you see how key scenes in the novel have been translated to the television version. My favorite was the opening scene of the novel in which Raylan handcuffs Dale Crowe Junior to the steering wheel and has him drive himself (with Raylan riding shotgun) to jail. This was one of my favorite scenes in the television show. There were some slight modifications, such as he's now Dewey Crowe and a white supremacist from Harlan, but, for the most part, the dialogue was lifted directly from the book, proving how brilliantly Leonard's work translates to film.
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Very good book
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Dark grey fur.
iPodReader More than 1 year ago
It's Elmore Leonard. How bad can it be? Poker-faced humor, astute observations of human nature. I've often thought Raylan Givens could be played well by Clint Eastwood.
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Book is very intriguing.
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OB-at-OTR More than 1 year ago
Fans of Elmore Leonard already know about this book but I recommend it for fans of the TV series 'Justified.' The book gives some insight to the Raylon Givins character and some of the episodes of the show. However, be aware that the Timithoy Oliphant character on TV is not quite the same as how Leonard envisioned the character.
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Readdicted More than 1 year ago
Leonard is one of my favorite storytellers and this one is no exception, but "short story" would be a more accurate description. Over 60 pages of this 251 page e-book version are filled with hype about other Leonard works. The actual story fills pages 5 through 192 and the term "fills" is used loosely. Much of the dialogue is presented in short, double-spaced sentences.
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