"Unputdownable! Beneath it's fast moving surface, Rum Punch is a novel about growing old, about the way that time changes us, about the old dream of starting over agian and its cost."--The Washington Post Book World.
Pretty working-girl Jackie Burke is in a tight spot. She's just been picked up at Palm Beach International with fifty grand and some blow stashed in her flight bag. Lucky for her, the Feds want something Jackie's got: the inside track to Ordell Robbie, the notoriusly slick arms dealer. And they're ready to deal--Ordell in exchange for her freedom. But Jackie's got another ace up her sleeve. . .Enter Max Cherry, bail bondsman. Big, tough, basically decent Max is on the verge of divorce and tired of the same old grind. That's where Jackie comes in. The fifty big ones are peanuts compared to what Ordell's got locked away in Freeport. But when a blowsy blond blowhead and a none-too-bright ex con try to muscle in on the action, it's time to pull and old bait and switch--where the good guys are played off against the bad guys--and where Jackie and Max hope to walk off into the Florida sunset with a hot half million in cold cash.
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Readers who come to Rum Punch after having seen Quentin Tarantino's 1997 film adaptation, Jackie Brown, are in for a few surprises. Mainly, Jackie Burke is a 44-year-old white woman (but just as hard-boiled as Pam Grier), bail bondsman Max Cherry has a much more prominent role in the proceedings, and the novel takes place in Miami--not Los Angeles. The core of the story, however, remains the same: when the cops try to use Jackie to get at Ordell Robbie, the gunrunner she's been bringing cash into the country for, she hatches a plan--with help from Max--to keep the money for herself. It all comes together in the traditional Elmore Leonard style, where the conversations are as crisply written and suspenseful as the action scenes. --Ron Hogan
From the Back Cover:
"Expertly blended. . .potent Dutch"--Chicago Sun-Times.
"Rum Punch is Leonard's best work! He brilliantly reaffirms his right to the title of America's finest crime-fiction writer."--People
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