Maximum Bob

I said the other day while watching Killshot that I was inspired to read some Elmore Leonard, so here we are. Actually, it could be the other way around, or not. It doesn’t matter which inspired which, they were both good.

I’m starting to get a feel for the Elmore Leonard formula after only a few short instances. One thing that he often seems to have is a strong yet vulnerable heroine. In this book, Kathy Diaz Baker is a tough parole officer with two really rough parolees, both of whom were sent away by a crooked judge nicknamed Maximum Bob. It turns into a twisted circle because the judge wants to sleep with non-receptive Kathy, and one of Kathy’s parolees wants to kill the judge. All sorts of shenanigans ensue.

During the shenanigans, Kathy falls for a local detective and it evolves into a tasteful little affair (this is the vulnerable part of Kathy). Kathy character reminds me a little of Jennifer Lopez’s character in Out of Sight, another great Elmore Leonard book and movie. Man I loved that movie. I’m going to watch that again soon.

It all takes place in Palm Beach county Florida. In certain ways, even besides the South Florida angle, it’s a little like a Carl Hiaasen novel, but a little darker and not as much hilarity. I like both.


The relationship that Kathy has with the cop comes to an abrupt halt when one of her parolees kills him. It was an emotional part of the book and the way Leonard drew out the drama by interspersing two scenes during the killing was masterful. I was engrossed, mad, sad, you name it.

Superb story. I’ll be reading more Leonard in the coming years, and maybe grabbing a few of the movies on Netflix.