Extortion, murder and double cross burning through the faded glamour of South Beach Miami. Former secret service agent Joe La Brava is a photographer mixing beach front snappery with an obsession for faded movie starlet Jean Shaw, what is the worst that could happen? Tangible desperation hangs heavy amongst Leonard’s characters, bringing life amongst the criminal undertow home to the reader in a way, that no other modern novelist can achieve to quite the same extent; undoubtably this is because ‘Dutch’ as his friends call him, is of a ‘different age.’ (85 this year.) Although this classic novel was written in 1983, A recent trip to South Beach confirmed that Leonard nailed the seedy glamour of the place in a way that is still relevant almost thirty years later. Much of his work has this timeless quality. Elmore Leonard is a writer’s writer. A talent so universally acclaimed that any true crime fan will already have read many of his works. La Brava is undoubtably one of his best however,combining Gator snappy dialogue with characterization so veristic you can feel it pulse in the thick gulf stream humidity. La Brava, time to read it again, go ahead, you deserve it.