Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Maize and Blue

Title: Mr. Paradise
Author: Elmore Leonard

Kelly and Chloe are roommates. Kelly is a Victoria's Secret model. Chloe was a high-dollar call girl until Mr. Paradise started paying her $5,000 a week to be his girlfriend (this seems to mainly entail topless cheerleading while the eighty-four year old retired criminal lawyer watches tapes of old Michigan games--but only the games Michigan won). Chloe convinces Kelly to come cheerleading with her one night, but it happens to be the night that two armed men arrive to kill Mr. Paradise. Things get bad for Kelly and Chloe. Hitmen, extortion, identity fraud, good times.

Frank Delsa is a homicide detective and acting head of his squad while the Lieutenant is in the sandbox. He gets to deal with the murder of Anthony Paradiso while simultaneously trying to cultivate a confidential informant, discover who shot a local gangbanger, solve the McDonald's robbery/homicide, and find out who killed and butchered four Mexican drug dealers in a basement.

I liked the crime--it was well-plotted and while TV shows often make it look like cops only ever handle one case at a time (usually as a gorgeous 6-person team), I think Frank's active caseload is far more likely. There are still way too many coincidental overlaps in the cases to be truly believable, but I can look past that. The part I found hard to believe was how quickly the drop-dead gorgeous underwear model fell for the aging, jaded cop widowed by cancer.

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posted by reyn at 9:58 AM


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