Raylan: By Elmore Leonard

Raylan
By Elmore Leonard
(William Morrow)

U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens has been pretty busy lately. After showing up in two books by Elmore Leonard, the character was given his own TV show on FX, the critical darling “Justified.” So what better time than to trot him back out onto the printed page.

In “Raylan,” Leonard’s 200th or so book (I’m guessing here), the ex-Kentucky coal miner/current marshal is back in another of the author’s finest. Like most of his books, the main plot is a moving object with characters coming and going and coming back again. Moonshine, pot crops, poker, striking miners and selling kidneys all play into Raylan, but make no mistake about it, the Stetson-wearing, trigger happy main character is the best reason for picking up this book.

Elmore has built a career as one of the most consistently enjoyable crime fiction writers still working today mainly for his knack of turning out compelling characters you can’t help but root for and Agent Raylan is one of his best.