Picks and Pans Review: Pronto
by Elmore Leonard
Harry Arno, a Miami Beach bookie with 20 years in the business, has a serious problem. The feds are broadcasting that Arno skims money from his boss, a gangster named Jimmy Cap. Guys who skim from Cap usually end up skinned, so Arno is ready to do anything to escape from federal custody. In his corrupt mind there is really only one place to go—Rapallo, Italy, a town he knows from his World War II days, a place where he shot a deserter and met poet Ezra Pound, a place where he can hide.
Within days of his arrival, Arno finds enemies everywhere. U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens wants him in jail. Mob leg breakers Tommy "The Zip" Bucks and Nicky Testa want him buried. So what's a poor (make that rich) bookie running for his life to do? Get out of Rapallo, and Pronto.
This is Leonard's finest novel since Glitz. The writing is crisp. The dialogue is vintage Elmore, and the plot is every bit as good as a bowl of linguini with clam sauce on a chilly night. (Delacorte, $21.95)
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