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Pagan Babies

Leonard, Elmore

2,976 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0736655913 / ISBN 13: 9780736655910
Published by Books on Tape, Newport Beach, CA, 2000
Used Condition: Very Good
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About this Item

Five 1.5-hour cassettes, read by Alexander Adams. Books-on-Tape book number 5405. Library edition; unabridged. Library discard, but apparently only checked out twice, once in 2002 and once in 2006. Case in vg condition; tapes look fine. If they don't play OK, I will refund your purchase, of course. Please note that this is an audio version of this title, on cassettes, not a print version. Bookseller Inventory # 001385

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Pagan Babies

Publisher: Books on Tape, Newport Beach, CA

Publication Date: 2000

Book Condition: Very Good

Book Type: Ex-Library

About this title


Terry Dunn is the only priest for miles in the lingering aftermath of the worst massacre Rwanda has ever seen. And Fr. Terry has just heard one confession too many. After exacting a chilling penance, Fr. Terry has to get out of Africa - pronto. He goes home to Detroit where a tax-fraud indictment is hanging over him. Is Dunn really a priest? Then there's Debbie Dewey. She's just been sprung from jail and is trying to make it as a stand-up comic. They hit it off beautifully. Debbie sells Terry on going in together on a con with a much bigger payoff than either could manage alone. That is, unless the priest is working a con on his own.

"The comic element in Leonard's thrillers has often been celebrated, but he's no slouch at romance, either. In fact, no genre is safe within his reach..." (Booklist)


After 30-odd novels, one might think that Elmore Leonard has nothing left to prove. But Pagan Babies, a novel filled with his signatures (tight plotting, scathing wit, and that grittily realistic dialogue), shows once again why he sets the standard against which other crime novels are measured. In fact, Leonard has raised the bar. How many authors would dare use the Rwandan genocide as backdrop for a story that moves gaily between romantic comedy and a massive, labyrinthine con? More to the point, how many of them would pull it off?

Father Terry Dunn doesn't have qualms about substituting punishment for penance. If that means killing four Hutu murderers who slaughtered his Tutsi congregation, so be it. Being an instrument of divine wrath has certain disadvantages, however, so Dunn breaks camp and heads for Detroit, where he's welcomed by family, a five-year-old federal indictment for tax fraud, and a fast-talking fireball named Debbie Dewey. Fresh from a stint in prison for assaulting her former fiancé, Randy, with a Ford Escort, Debbie is out for revenge:

"I still can't believe I fell for it. He tells me he's retired from Merrill Lynch, one of their top traders, and I believed him. Did I check? No, not till it was too late. But you know what did me in, besides the hair and the tan? Greed. He said if I had a savings account that wasn't doing much and would like to put it to work... He shows me his phony portfolio, stock worth millions, and like a dummy I said, 'Well, I've got fifty grand not doing too much.' I signed it over and that's the last I saw of my money."
It's only a matter of time before Debbie's desire for cold, hard cash and Dunn's fundraising for Rwandan orphans join forces in a carefully plotted financial assault on Randy's benefactor, Tony Amilia, who just happens to be the last of the old-school Detroit Mafia. Throw in a couple of hit men to whom loyalty is a foreign word, and you've got vintage Leonard: a fast-paced, roller-coaster ride of a novel where deceiver and deceived are gloriously shifty signifiers. --Kelly Flynn

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