Fifty Two Pickup Kindle è Fifty Two PDF/EPUB ²

Fifty Two Pickup Kindle è Fifty Two PDF/EPUB ²



10 thoughts on “Fifty Two Pickup

  1. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    ”We picked the wrong guy” Leo Frank said “That’s the whole thing We picked the wrong fucking guy” They want Harry’s moneyHarry Mitchell did everything that he was supposed to do He was a World War Two ace fighter pilot who came back from the war and started his own manufacturing company that employs hundreds of people He married well His wife Barbara keeps herself in shape with jogging and playing tennis and is still a very attractive women Everything was fine until Harry met CynthiaCiniCinSinHe wasn’t looking for a girl; it just kind of happened She wasn’t even as good in bed as Barbara but she was young and fun Feeling young was something Harry had been missing This was not like Harry When he goes over to see her and finds the cold barrel of a long pistol stuck in his neck he realizes that whatever pleasure he had received from knocking boots with a girl half his age was about to be eclipsed by embarrassment and financial blackmail They have a tape The problem is they have the wrong guy Harry isn’t the type of guy who is going to go all weak in the knees He’d faced the prospect of death several thousand feet up in the air during the war He’d spent months thinking each day was going to be his last day He is a thinker A man who calculates all the angles He can weigh the pain and decide if he can take it They want 105000 a year for as long as they want it That is just simply unacceptable If he agreed to terms like that he wouldn’t be Harry Mitchell any There are three men putting the sueeze on Harry but the main guy Alan Raimy is probably one of the most despicable villains I’ve ever come across in literature In the movie of the same title from 1986 John Glover plays the roleWhen he smiled he made me shiver”I don’t know what this fucking world is coming to You honestly sincerely tell the guy how it is and the mother doesn’t believe you”They raise the stakes They frame Harry for murder He bends but he doesn’t break They kidnap his wife and believe me putting a woman in the hands of Alan Raimy is not just kidnapping Harry makes a deal but the whole time he is thinking about how he might fold his cards and fold again but by the end of the night he is going to win the game John Glover is Alan RaimyRoy Scheider plays Harry Mitchell in the movie and it is probably his best role outside of Jaws Ann Margret plays his wife Barbara and though she isn’t the little scamp we remember in Viva Las Vegas any she has blossomed into a full bodied vivacious woman The movie and the book are similar but there are certainly hardboiled aspects at play in the book that director John Frankenheimer shied away from in the movie This is vintage El Leonard and if you choose to read this book you just won’t be able to escape the experience unsullied If you like hardboiled noir that will leave a little grit in your teeth a knot on the back of your head and a powerful thirst for something amber and wet then this is the book for you If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. Kathryn in FL Kathryn in FL says:

    This tale written in the present day 1970's when it was published remains a classic so many years later El Leonard is was a master storyteller RIP I have read a few of his works and this one motivates me to read many from his extensive libraryWhat happens when a married man dips his wick where it does not belong? Well for Mr Mitchell it means blackmail When he decides to challenge these wanna be gangster's with new rules he makes up mayhem ensues This clever cat and mouse game keeps testing new avenues of deceit in ways the reader doesn't usually anticipate It is a high stakes game Who will win? Each gangster thinks he is intelligent than his peers and their mark All will be challenged in their perceptionWhile not a comedy in the sense of laughing out loud in every chapter this is a lighthearted crime story If crime noir is a favorite this one is worthy of your attention


  3. Dan Schwent Dan Schwent says:

    Blackmailers have factory owner Harry Mitchell over a barrel Either he pays them 105000 a year or they turn over an incriminating film of him cheating on his wife to the police and press and if he doesn't pay up Too bad Harry Mitchell has ideas of his ownEl Leonard sure knows how to weave a serpentine tale doesn't he? He takes a story that seems simple on the surface that of some blackmailers hitting up a pigeon for money and turns it into something else all together It was written in 1974 but has a certain timelessness to itHarry Mitchell is the usual Leonard protagonist cool capable and not entirely spotless The way he handles the blackmailers set the stage for later Leonard protagonists like Chili Palmer and Raylan Givens I like that Leonard made Barbara's behavior toward Harry believable after she found out he had an affair view spoilerAbout my only complaint with the story is that I wish Barbara would ahve gotten a crack at getting some payback on Alan hide spoiler


  4. Lawyer Lawyer says:

    52 Pickup El Leonard's Card Game If you want it here it is come and get itMake your mind up fastIf you want it anytime I can give itBut you better hurry 'cause it may not lastDid I hear you sayThat there must be a catch?Will you walk awayFrom a fool and his money? Paul McCartney 1970Ever played 52 Pickup? It only takes two players A standard deck will do It's a joke man The dealer's in on the trick The stooge is the pigeon the patsy The dealer shuffles the deck Ready? The dealer throws the deck up in the air scattering the cards on the floor gleefully yelling 52 Pickup And the pigeon has to pick up the cards The GameEl Leonard plays 52 Pick Up with the best of them But cards are not what you need to play his game It's dollars Lots of themAlan Raimy is a pretty smart guy He's got a degree in Business Advertising He can read a Dunn and Bradstreet analysis He likes Ranco Manufacturing owned and run by Harry Mitchell Business hasn't been so good for Alan Sex gets a smart guy in trouble especially when the girlies are underage You know it starts out simple a little wienie wagging and then you're giving teeny boppers a little weed and you're off the street for a bit Alan has an adult theaterAlan has friends Leo is the set up He's got this modeling studio where guys can rent a polaroid and photograph a model in a little white room for next to nothing Leo has a cute little twenty one year old girl named Cini working her way through schoolSometimes you hold all the cards In walks Harry Mitchell with a business client who wants a little fun Harry's client hits on Cini but she's not playing Cini talks to Harry Harry's got hormones Cini's half his wife's age She's young she's fresh Harry rents an apartment for Cini Harry and Cini have sex Alan has it on film He'll show the film to Harry's wife and other people that might view this film as a blemish on Harry's reputationBut Harry's stubborn He knows one payment won't be the end of it He's stalling on the down payment of 10KHarry's going to have to learn the hard way Alan produces a little snuff film with C1ni as the star Alan's muscle Bobby Shay who likes to pull the trigger is the third in this merry little band of bad asses Oh yeah And the gun that snuffs Cyni it's Harry's Harry's over a barrel right? No El Leonard is writing this story You know the bad guys are not going to beat him You're cheering for HarryIt's simple A little knowledge is a dangerous thing You know what they say about assume It makes an ass out of you and me Alan has picked the wrong patsy Harry's no simple white collar business man He started Ranco He worked on the line for nineteen years He's got brawn and brains Sometimes a Dunn Bradstreet doesn't tell you all you need to know Things like Harry was a World War II fighter pilot who shot down nine Luftwaffe planesHarry spills the beans to Barbara his wife of twenty two years Gosh I've only screwed around on you once Barbara forgives Hmmm male fantasy? She's missed Harry Frenzied lovemaking follows Long leisurely lovemaking followsHarry spins his trap Divide and conuer Cut a deal with Alan Show him the books Show him he can only pay 5200000 Let nature take its course 52000 split three ways doesn't go as far as 10500000 The gang of three will take care of themselves especially after Harry tells Leo and Bobby about the deal he's cut with AlanSit back Have a good whiskey Enjoy the ride Do you really have any uestion on who's going to be left standing when this game is played out?Leonard's dialog crackles The action moves faster than a bullet The suspense crackles A bit dated? Consider this a look back at the 70s This is no Brady Bunch Just roll with itThis is another Leonard novel that made it to the movies A good one The 1986 film directed by John Frankenheimer starring Roy Scheider Ann Margaret as Barbara and Kelly Prestion as Cini In 2011 the film made the litmus test list of top twenty man movies I'd say if there were a list of books appealing to men Leonard's novel would make the list tooAnd if somebody asks you to play 52 Pickup make sure you're the dealerLike crime novels? Grab this one


  5. Kemper Kemper says:

    Harry Mitchell could be a poster boy for the Greatest Generation He was a World War II ace fighter pilot and afterwards started his own manufacturing firm that’s become a successful business while he and his wife Barbara enjoyed a happy marriage and raised two kidsAh but the mid life crisis has made than one man stupid and Harry has a fling with a woman half his age Just as he is about to break it off Harry is confronted by a trio of blackmailers who have films that show his infidelity They demand a small fortune but when Harry balks they up the ante and try to tie him into an even larger crime However Harry isn’t the kind of guy who is just going to allow himself to be extortedThis is vintage El Leonard with slick plotting off beat characters and sharp dialogue The setting of Detroit in the mid ’70s is a great time and place for a gritty crime novel and doesn’t seem too dated There’s a couple of loose ends that bothered me The sub plot about a union representative pushing Harry’s buttons about an upcoming negotiation seems to just disappear which is odd after view spoilerthe guy firebombs Harry’s car hide spoiler


  6. Johnny Johnny says:

    This is the third earlier Leonard book that I have picked up and like the other two MOONSHINE WARS and MR MAJESTYK it is a solid read Fast violent and funAll three books share one very distinct Leonardian uality precision There is nothing extraneous in any of the stories Leonard tells only what is necessary and then moves on It keeps the novels short and fastI would also argue that same uality keeps the books from reaching past a ceiling they always seem to hit While they are good the depth is only as deep as the necessity of the story Some would argue that that kind of story integration is what every author should strive for However there are times that it makes the story feel constructed The beauty is often in the flaw A digression here a red herring there character traits that add depth but do not pertain directly to the story backstory a stronger sense of place etc I like uick lean stories with very little fat But the fat is where the flavor comes from While I really do like Leonard's stories and I plan to eventually read all of them they are occasionally a little lean for me


  7. Algernon (Darth Anyan) Algernon (Darth Anyan) says:

    It's a shame ain't it? Everybody is trying to mess everybody That's rich coming from the mouth of a small time crook trying to blackmail a middle aged guy having an affair with a much younger woman but it is a rather good resume of the plot of this El Leonard novel Actually it could be said it is a fair assessment of most EL crime capers where nothing goes according to plan and things go pear shaped in an ugly way with obstinate regularityI was curious about the title but it only becomes relevant towards the middle of the book so I'll pressent the story as it develops with as little spoilers as I canHarry Mitchell is a moderately succesful industrialist in Detroit a self made man who came up from the workshop floor to own now a manufacturing company for spare auto parts of course this is Detroit in the 70's not the present day wasteland He has a very well preserved and attractive wife Barbara but he still manages to get involved with a much younger girl he meets in a strip joint Pretty soon this girl disappears and Mitchell is blackmailed by a trio of masked strangers The rest of the novel is all about Mitchell trying to get out of his predicament mostly by his own wits and with a liberal use of his fists There is a minor plotline dealing with union troubles and sabotage at the plant and a better one describing Harry Mitchell and his wife trying to patch together their marriage after his betrayal but the focus is on the uestion pay up or go to the police? or find another solution?The identity of the blackmaiklers is not in doubt as a good part of the novel is presented from their perspective Leo Frank Alan Raimy and Bobby Shy are all involved in pornography drugs armed robbery but they didn't impress me as very intelligent They make up for this by ruthlessness and I actually was interested in their accounts of the underworld lifestyle than in the Mitchell point of viewThis is one of the better written novels I've read so far by El Leonard with a tight plot realistic crooks and great dialogue Yet I can't say it is one of my favorites and this comes mostly from my lack of enthusiasm for Harry Mitchell I disliked his 'my way or the highway' tough guy persona especially in his dealing with workers and union guys I thought also that the writer should have made it harder for him to get the upper hand in the dealings with the blackmailers and in particular I believe the ending is forced too Hollywood style instead of a messier finish in line with how things developed previouslyIn conclusion a uick read with El Leonard in top form a little formulaic but with enough twists and local colour to make it memorable I understand there's a movie version and I plan to check it out all of his novels translate well to the silver screen and this one should be no exception


  8. Wayne Barrett Wayne Barrett says:

    35Classic El Leonard I was really into this book at the start impressed as usual by the character dialogue and building excitement to the story Unfortunately the build up faltered and the story which began to lag toward the end came to an abrupt end with an anticlimactic close as does this review


  9. AC AC says:

    I've gotten really into genre lately which must surprise those who've heard me pontificate so much on Plato and on Nazis Well actually not into genre so much as just into crimemysteryspy novels I still hate Sci Fi despite my somewhat heroic efforts to read a mass of it a year or so back Maybe it's an age thingBut perhaps it's not so surprising after all Many years ago I learned to my great astonishment that my professor was an avid reader of mystery novels I don't know whom he read he was a man of high culture and I think he considered Borges whom he had met a mystery writer; but I do know that he mentioned Agatha Christie because as he put it solving crimes is a lot like solving for a problem in philology piecing together tantalizing and always incomplete clues until the necessary and confirmable result emergesOf course that presupposes that the crime story is well handled And this one unfortunately strictly from a craft point of view is mediocre This was one of his earliest non westerns apparently and it seems that he just didn't have his MoJo yet After reading Swag at any rate it was a let down For Swag is superbBut '52' was a let down in a way that is highly instructive The writing is so bad relatively speaking by which I mean that the plotting pacing the way dialogue and characters are all handled shows that the young writer made a host of identifiable and specifiable mistakes so bad in fact that the careful reader can pick out all the blunders like a surgeon pulling splinters of shattered wood out of the body of a corpse Thus by making a careful analysis of the strengths of Swag and the writing flubs in '52' a budding writer would find hisherself in a highly instructive laboratory for one of the best ways to learn any craft is by making a close examination not of the successful as genius is often unrepeatable but of failures and second rate effortsSo the third star goes to the pedagogical value of this 'text'The book itself being one I didn't like


  10. Bren Bren says:

    ”We picked the wrong guy” Leo Frank said “That’s the whole thing We picked the wrong fucking guy”El Leonard 52 Pickup35 starsHarry is being blackmailed This is not a good thing for Harry He likes his life orderlyblackmailers present a problemThe blackmailers are confident they can get whatever they want on Harry since they have the goodsHowe verthey are about to discover their plan has problems Because Harry doesn't like to be blackmailed And Harry is not the compliant mark his blackmailers thought he'd be He is the wrong fucking guy”I liked this story This was pure Noir It was packed with adventure and some fun some rather not so characters with a fast paced involving story lineThere is a rape depicted in this book that turned me off and that is why I gave it only 35 starsBut the story itself was really fun You can tell it was written back when it was I loved the character of Harry and kept turning the pages Fun read although I wish what I mentioned earlier had not been included


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Fifty Two Pickup [BOOKS] ✫ Fifty Two Pickup Author El Leonard – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Mitchell in his forties is a self made man who owns a factory in Detroit and has been happily married for twenty years And then he slips He sets up a young model in an apartment and blackmail ensues i Mitchell in his forties is a self made man who owns a factory in Detroit and has been happily married for twenty years And then he slips He sets up a young model in an apartment and blackmail ensues in the shape of three masked men But the thugs reckon without his desire for revenge.

10 thoughts on “Fifty Two Pickup

  1. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    ”We picked the wrong guy” Leo Frank said “That’s the whole thing We picked the wrong fucking guy” They want Harry’s moneyHarry Mitchell did everything that he was supposed to do He was a World War Two ace fighter pilot who came back from the war and started his own manufacturing company that employs hundreds of people He married well His wife Barbara keeps herself in shape with jogging and playing tennis and is still a very attractive women Everything was fine until Harry met CynthiaCiniCinSinHe wasn’t looking for a girl; it just kind of happened She wasn’t even as good in bed as Barbara but she was young and fun Feeling young was something Harry had been missing This was not like Harry When he goes over to see her and finds the cold barrel of a long pistol stuck in his neck he realizes that whatever pleasure he had received from knocking boots with a girl half his age was about to be eclipsed by embarrassment and financial blackmail They have a tape The problem is they have the wrong guy Harry isn’t the type of guy who is going to go all weak in the knees He’d faced the prospect of death several thousand feet up in the air during the war He’d spent months thinking each day was going to be his last day He is a thinker A man who calculates all the angles He can weigh the pain and decide if he can take it They want 105000 a year for as long as they want it That is just simply unacceptable If he agreed to terms like that he wouldn’t be Harry Mitchell any There are three men putting the sueeze on Harry but the main guy Alan Raimy is probably one of the most despicable villains I’ve ever come across in literature In the movie of the same title from 1986 John Glover plays the roleWhen he smiled he made me shiver”I don’t know what this fucking world is coming to You honestly sincerely tell the guy how it is and the mother doesn’t believe you”They raise the stakes They frame Harry for murder He bends but he doesn’t break They kidnap his wife and believe me putting a woman in the hands of Alan Raimy is not just kidnapping Harry makes a deal but the whole time he is thinking about how he might fold his cards and fold again but by the end of the night he is going to win the game John Glover is Alan RaimyRoy Scheider plays Harry Mitchell in the movie and it is probably his best role outside of Jaws Ann Margret plays his wife Barbara and though she isn’t the little scamp we remember in Viva Las Vegas any she has blossomed into a full bodied vivacious woman The movie and the book are similar but there are certainly hardboiled aspects at play in the book that director John Frankenheimer shied away from in the movie This is vintage El Leonard and if you choose to read this book you just won’t be able to escape the experience unsullied If you like hardboiled noir that will leave a little grit in your teeth a knot on the back of your head and a powerful thirst for something amber and wet then this is the book for you If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  2. Kathryn in FL Kathryn in FL says:

    This tale written in the present day 1970's when it was published remains a classic so many years later El Leonard is was a master storyteller RIP I have read a few of his works and this one motivates me to read many from his extensive libraryWhat happens when a married man dips his wick where it does not belong? Well for Mr Mitchell it means blackmail When he decides to challenge these wanna be gangster's with new rules he makes up mayhem ensues This clever cat and mouse game keeps testing new avenues of deceit in ways the reader doesn't usually anticipate It is a high stakes game Who will win? Each gangster thinks he is intelligent than his peers and their mark All will be challenged in their perceptionWhile not a comedy in the sense of laughing out loud in every chapter this is a lighthearted crime story If crime noir is a favorite this one is worthy of your attention

  3. Dan Schwent Dan Schwent says:

    Blackmailers have factory owner Harry Mitchell over a barrel Either he pays them 105000 a year or they turn over an incriminating film of him cheating on his wife to the police and press and if he doesn't pay up Too bad Harry Mitchell has ideas of his ownEl Leonard sure knows how to weave a serpentine tale doesn't he? He takes a story that seems simple on the surface that of some blackmailers hitting up a pigeon for money and turns it into something else all together It was written in 1974 but has a certain timelessness to itHarry Mitchell is the usual Leonard protagonist cool capable and not entirely spotless The way he handles the blackmailers set the stage for later Leonard protagonists like Chili Palmer and Raylan Givens I like that Leonard made Barbara's behavior toward Harry believable after she found out he had an affair view spoilerAbout my only complaint with the story is that I wish Barbara would ahve gotten a crack at getting some payback on Alan hide spoiler

  4. Lawyer Lawyer says:

    52 Pickup El Leonard's Card Game If you want it here it is come and get itMake your mind up fastIf you want it anytime I can give itBut you better hurry 'cause it may not lastDid I hear you sayThat there must be a catch?Will you walk awayFrom a fool and his money? Paul McCartney 1970Ever played 52 Pickup? It only takes two players A standard deck will do It's a joke man The dealer's in on the trick The stooge is the pigeon the patsy The dealer shuffles the deck Ready? The dealer throws the deck up in the air scattering the cards on the floor gleefully yelling 52 Pickup And the pigeon has to pick up the cards The GameEl Leonard plays 52 Pick Up with the best of them But cards are not what you need to play his game It's dollars Lots of themAlan Raimy is a pretty smart guy He's got a degree in Business Advertising He can read a Dunn and Bradstreet analysis He likes Ranco Manufacturing owned and run by Harry Mitchell Business hasn't been so good for Alan Sex gets a smart guy in trouble especially when the girlies are underage You know it starts out simple a little wienie wagging and then you're giving teeny boppers a little weed and you're off the street for a bit Alan has an adult theaterAlan has friends Leo is the set up He's got this modeling studio where guys can rent a polaroid and photograph a model in a little white room for next to nothing Leo has a cute little twenty one year old girl named Cini working her way through schoolSometimes you hold all the cards In walks Harry Mitchell with a business client who wants a little fun Harry's client hits on Cini but she's not playing Cini talks to Harry Harry's got hormones Cini's half his wife's age She's young she's fresh Harry rents an apartment for Cini Harry and Cini have sex Alan has it on film He'll show the film to Harry's wife and other people that might view this film as a blemish on Harry's reputationBut Harry's stubborn He knows one payment won't be the end of it He's stalling on the down payment of 10KHarry's going to have to learn the hard way Alan produces a little snuff film with C1ni as the star Alan's muscle Bobby Shay who likes to pull the trigger is the third in this merry little band of bad asses Oh yeah And the gun that snuffs Cyni it's Harry's Harry's over a barrel right? No El Leonard is writing this story You know the bad guys are not going to beat him You're cheering for HarryIt's simple A little knowledge is a dangerous thing You know what they say about assume It makes an ass out of you and me Alan has picked the wrong patsy Harry's no simple white collar business man He started Ranco He worked on the line for nineteen years He's got brawn and brains Sometimes a Dunn Bradstreet doesn't tell you all you need to know Things like Harry was a World War II fighter pilot who shot down nine Luftwaffe planesHarry spills the beans to Barbara his wife of twenty two years Gosh I've only screwed around on you once Barbara forgives Hmmm male fantasy? She's missed Harry Frenzied lovemaking follows Long leisurely lovemaking followsHarry spins his trap Divide and conuer Cut a deal with Alan Show him the books Show him he can only pay 5200000 Let nature take its course 52000 split three ways doesn't go as far as 10500000 The gang of three will take care of themselves especially after Harry tells Leo and Bobby about the deal he's cut with AlanSit back Have a good whiskey Enjoy the ride Do you really have any uestion on who's going to be left standing when this game is played out?Leonard's dialog crackles The action moves faster than a bullet The suspense crackles A bit dated? Consider this a look back at the 70s This is no Brady Bunch Just roll with itThis is another Leonard novel that made it to the movies A good one The 1986 film directed by John Frankenheimer starring Roy Scheider Ann Margaret as Barbara and Kelly Prestion as Cini In 2011 the film made the litmus test list of top twenty man movies I'd say if there were a list of books appealing to men Leonard's novel would make the list tooAnd if somebody asks you to play 52 Pickup make sure you're the dealerLike crime novels? Grab this one

  5. Kemper Kemper says:

    Harry Mitchell could be a poster boy for the Greatest Generation He was a World War II ace fighter pilot and afterwards started his own manufacturing firm that’s become a successful business while he and his wife Barbara enjoyed a happy marriage and raised two kidsAh but the mid life crisis has made than one man stupid and Harry has a fling with a woman half his age Just as he is about to break it off Harry is confronted by a trio of blackmailers who have films that show his infidelity They demand a small fortune but when Harry balks they up the ante and try to tie him into an even larger crime However Harry isn’t the kind of guy who is just going to allow himself to be extortedThis is vintage El Leonard with slick plotting off beat characters and sharp dialogue The setting of Detroit in the mid ’70s is a great time and place for a gritty crime novel and doesn’t seem too dated There’s a couple of loose ends that bothered me The sub plot about a union representative pushing Harry’s buttons about an upcoming negotiation seems to just disappear which is odd after view spoilerthe guy firebombs Harry’s car hide spoiler

  6. Johnny Johnny says:

    This is the third earlier Leonard book that I have picked up and like the other two MOONSHINE WARS and MR MAJESTYK it is a solid read Fast violent and funAll three books share one very distinct Leonardian uality precision There is nothing extraneous in any of the stories Leonard tells only what is necessary and then moves on It keeps the novels short and fastI would also argue that same uality keeps the books from reaching past a ceiling they always seem to hit While they are good the depth is only as deep as the necessity of the story Some would argue that that kind of story integration is what every author should strive for However there are times that it makes the story feel constructed The beauty is often in the flaw A digression here a red herring there character traits that add depth but do not pertain directly to the story backstory a stronger sense of place etc I like uick lean stories with very little fat But the fat is where the flavor comes from While I really do like Leonard's stories and I plan to eventually read all of them they are occasionally a little lean for me

  7. Algernon (Darth Anyan) Algernon (Darth Anyan) says:

    It's a shame ain't it? Everybody is trying to mess everybody That's rich coming from the mouth of a small time crook trying to blackmail a middle aged guy having an affair with a much younger woman but it is a rather good resume of the plot of this El Leonard novel Actually it could be said it is a fair assessment of most EL crime capers where nothing goes according to plan and things go pear shaped in an ugly way with obstinate regularityI was curious about the title but it only becomes relevant towards the middle of the book so I'll pressent the story as it develops with as little spoilers as I canHarry Mitchell is a moderately succesful industrialist in Detroit a self made man who came up from the workshop floor to own now a manufacturing company for spare auto parts of course this is Detroit in the 70's not the present day wasteland He has a very well preserved and attractive wife Barbara but he still manages to get involved with a much younger girl he meets in a strip joint Pretty soon this girl disappears and Mitchell is blackmailed by a trio of masked strangers The rest of the novel is all about Mitchell trying to get out of his predicament mostly by his own wits and with a liberal use of his fists There is a minor plotline dealing with union troubles and sabotage at the plant and a better one describing Harry Mitchell and his wife trying to patch together their marriage after his betrayal but the focus is on the uestion pay up or go to the police? or find another solution?The identity of the blackmaiklers is not in doubt as a good part of the novel is presented from their perspective Leo Frank Alan Raimy and Bobby Shy are all involved in pornography drugs armed robbery but they didn't impress me as very intelligent They make up for this by ruthlessness and I actually was interested in their accounts of the underworld lifestyle than in the Mitchell point of viewThis is one of the better written novels I've read so far by El Leonard with a tight plot realistic crooks and great dialogue Yet I can't say it is one of my favorites and this comes mostly from my lack of enthusiasm for Harry Mitchell I disliked his 'my way or the highway' tough guy persona especially in his dealing with workers and union guys I thought also that the writer should have made it harder for him to get the upper hand in the dealings with the blackmailers and in particular I believe the ending is forced too Hollywood style instead of a messier finish in line with how things developed previouslyIn conclusion a uick read with El Leonard in top form a little formulaic but with enough twists and local colour to make it memorable I understand there's a movie version and I plan to check it out all of his novels translate well to the silver screen and this one should be no exception

  8. Wayne Barrett Wayne Barrett says:

    35Classic El Leonard I was really into this book at the start impressed as usual by the character dialogue and building excitement to the story Unfortunately the build up faltered and the story which began to lag toward the end came to an abrupt end with an anticlimactic close as does this review

  9. AC AC says:

    I've gotten really into genre lately which must surprise those who've heard me pontificate so much on Plato and on Nazis Well actually not into genre so much as just into crimemysteryspy novels I still hate Sci Fi despite my somewhat heroic efforts to read a mass of it a year or so back Maybe it's an age thingBut perhaps it's not so surprising after all Many years ago I learned to my great astonishment that my professor was an avid reader of mystery novels I don't know whom he read he was a man of high culture and I think he considered Borges whom he had met a mystery writer; but I do know that he mentioned Agatha Christie because as he put it solving crimes is a lot like solving for a problem in philology piecing together tantalizing and always incomplete clues until the necessary and confirmable result emergesOf course that presupposes that the crime story is well handled And this one unfortunately strictly from a craft point of view is mediocre This was one of his earliest non westerns apparently and it seems that he just didn't have his MoJo yet After reading Swag at any rate it was a let down For Swag is superbBut '52' was a let down in a way that is highly instructive The writing is so bad relatively speaking by which I mean that the plotting pacing the way dialogue and characters are all handled shows that the young writer made a host of identifiable and specifiable mistakes so bad in fact that the careful reader can pick out all the blunders like a surgeon pulling splinters of shattered wood out of the body of a corpse Thus by making a careful analysis of the strengths of Swag and the writing flubs in '52' a budding writer would find hisherself in a highly instructive laboratory for one of the best ways to learn any craft is by making a close examination not of the successful as genius is often unrepeatable but of failures and second rate effortsSo the third star goes to the pedagogical value of this 'text'The book itself being one I didn't like

  10. Bren Bren says:

    ”We picked the wrong guy” Leo Frank said “That’s the whole thing We picked the wrong fucking guy”El Leonard 52 Pickup35 starsHarry is being blackmailed This is not a good thing for Harry He likes his life orderlyblackmailers present a problemThe blackmailers are confident they can get whatever they want on Harry since they have the goodsHowe verthey are about to discover their plan has problems Because Harry doesn't like to be blackmailed And Harry is not the compliant mark his blackmailers thought he'd be He is the wrong fucking guy”I liked this story This was pure Noir It was packed with adventure and some fun some rather not so characters with a fast paced involving story lineThere is a rape depicted in this book that turned me off and that is why I gave it only 35 starsBut the story itself was really fun You can tell it was written back when it was I loved the character of Harry and kept turning the pages Fun read although I wish what I mentioned earlier had not been included

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