Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
We may earn a commission from links on this page

Elmore Leonard: Out Of Sight

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Elmore Leonard began his career writing Westerns, eventually came around to find his voice in mysteries, broke big after putting out almost a dozen books, and now has a pretty good chance of turning anything he writes into a best-seller and an eventual hit movie. Out Of Sight is his 33rd book in about as many years, and if it's wearing on him, it isn't obvious in his novels. He's still writing taut, tension-filled fiction about damaged people doing evil deeds and, sometimes, a few moderately good deeds for odd reasons. In Out Of Sight, U.S. Marshall Karen Sisco is hot on the trail of high-profile criminal Jack Foley, an expert bank robber with whom she shares a history: They were once locked in the trunk of a Chevy together, and later spent a pleasant night in one of Detroit's finer hotels. Sisco's job is to lock him up for good, but not before figuring out the intricacies of his latest heist. Through it all, Leonard's characteristic voice stays true to form; the tough talk and mannerisms of his people aren't new or especially clever, but his deft touch and eye for detail make his characters ring true. We believe it when, in a classic Leonard scene, knockout Sisco shows up with a summons at a Florida prison in heels and a little black cocktail dress, and we believe it when Leonard implies that Sisco and supercon Foley strike up a pleasant conversation about movies while locked in the Chevy's trunk. We believe these things not because they're especially believable, but because Leonard has used an unsurpassed gift for pure storytelling to make us want to believe them. He's that good, and he always has been. You should read everything he's ever done, including the excellent Out Of Sight.