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Crossing the Double Crossed

By Genny (also Rusty) | Books | August 12, 2009 |

By Genny (also Rusty) | Books | August 12, 2009 |

This is the first Elmore Leonard novel I’ve read and it’s probably a bad one to start with. It continues stories started in Out of Sight (which I’ve at least seen the movie of), LaBrava and Riding the Rap. Jack Foley (Out of Sight) meets Cundo Rey (LaBrava) while in prison and the two become friends or “road dogs.” Cundo pays for a high-priced attorney to appeal Foley’s sentence down to the point where he and Cundo are getting out at almost exactly the same time. As Foley will be released a month earlier, Cundo offers him the use of one of the two houses he owns if he’ll go out to check on Cundo’s common law wife, Dawn (Riding the Rap). While Foley is suspicious of the other con’s largesse, he’s not in a position to turn him down.

From there several games of cat and mouse emerge, with an FBI agent tracking Foley, since the agent is convinced that Foley will rob another bank and wants to be there when it happens. Dawn uses seduction in her attempts to get Foley to play along with her plan to rob Cundo, and Cundo does his best to keep everyone in the dark so he can figure out who’s really loyal to him by showing up at his house a day early. The main plot line is whether or not Dawn is going to screw over Cundo and if she does, will Foley help her?

Not wanting to be one to reveal spoiler related information, I’ll let those who want to know find out for themselves. Leonard’s writing is very stylish, but he does tend to rely a bit heavily on established character traits rather than developing the characters fully on their own. Some of the backstory of Foley is revealed, and Karen Sisco does make an appearance but there’s not many pages devoted to either Cundo or Dawn. Save for, I suppose, the other books they’re present in. Still, the crossing, double crossing and intrigues make for a less than thrilling ride, and even the end is somewhat anti-climactic after the build up that comes before. Of course, maybe I’d feel otherwise if I’d come at it with the proper background information.

Road Dogs is a stylish crime novel that is probably better with a little pre-reading. Not a good book if you’re new to Elmore Leonard, though.

This review is part of the Cannonball Read series. For more of Genny (also Rusty)’s review, check her blog, Rusty’s Ventures.

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