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The Big Bounce    by Elmore Leonard order for
Big Bounce
by Elmore Leonard
Order:  USA  Can
HarperTorch, 2003
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Ran into a reprint of an older Elmore Leonard mystery. That man must have been writing well by the first grade. Jack Ryan - wannabe ball player with a blown knee - turns to a less ordered life and drifts from one thing to another, walking around the edges of legality. While in jail, he meets a burglar, who teaches him the fine points of the profession. Together they ply their trade.

After Jack moves on from his mentor, he ends up living on the fringes of the privileged. Their booty is as valuable as anyone else's and Ryan's B & E skills are a treat to read about as he plunders a house party while the guests gather on the front porch. Jack's life changes from one of simple risk taking to downright danger when he meets Nancy, the girl toy of a cucumber grower.

Though The Big Bounce doesn't have the wry humor that Leonard's later books have, it is well-written. The ending had me holding my breath as I realized Nancy's intentions. And I wondered why Jack couldn't see what was going to happen. I won't give away that scene. You'll have to read it for yourself. You won't be sorry.

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