21: Road Dogs

Road DogsRoad Dogs by Elmore Leonard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From the VPL Spring 2010 book sale.

Read in August 2013.

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When Elmore Leonard died on August 20, I thought hmm, don’t I have an Elmore Leonard book on my to-read shelf? Indeed I did. And yes, it had been there for a while. Thus, it was chosen as my next read.

As the story opens, Jack Foley and Cundo Rey meet in prison in Florida. Foley’s a bank robber. He escaped from prison (under duress, or so he says) but has been returned. Cundo’s a rich criminal kingpin. (For whatever reason, that’s how they’re referred to: Foley and Cundo, not Jack and Cundo or Foley and Rey.) Foley’s been sentenced to thirty years but Cundo gets his lawyer on it, gets Foley’s sentence reduced to thirty months.

Foley is… wait. Foley is George Clooney in that movie with Jennifer Lopez. Out of Sight. J.Lo. was Karen Sisco. Ok. So now every time I read “Foley” I’m going to see Clooney. Hrm. Weird. (Is it just a coincidence that, like Foley, Clooney’s more often than not ‘Clooney’ rather than ‘George’?)

Moving along. Cundo has two houses in Venice (California, not Italy). His “wife”—Dawn Navarro, a psychic who’s been waiting (cough) for him to get out of prison for the past eight years—is living in one of these. VPL Spring Book Sale

Foley is released first, and Cundo puts him up in the house Dawn’s not living in. Dawn and Foley hook up (naturally). They hatch a scheme involving “psychic powers” to relieve a grieving widow of her fortune. They also hope to relieve Cundo of his fortune.

But once Cundo gets out, Foley doesn’t play the con the way Dawn wants and things go awry (understatement). In the end, Foley gives up robbing banks for good. Or so he says.

It’s all about the dialogue.