Split Images by Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard's novels and screenplays are best known for their gritty realism.

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Split Images by Elmore Leonard


  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.85 x 6.78 x 4.32
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; (October 2002)
  • ISBN: 0060089547

    Reader Reviews
    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful: Shattered Dreams, January 1, 2003 Reviewer: Dennis Keithly from Richardson I am at a loss to understand why this novel from Leonard does not get more attention. It is quite possibly one of his best. For one thing, it is not as formulaic (if that is a word) as some of his other novels. Sure, the 'hero' is cool, his love interest is likeable, the villain and his sidekick are real characters--all just like they are in Leonard's other novels, but they aren't the same characters. For one, the arch-bad guy is a millionaire with too much free time on his hands. Robbie Daniels has too much money and is obsessed with crime fiction (kind of like a lot of mystery fans) and the attempted assassination of President Reagan. He is not content to sit on the sidelines and read about murders anymore, he wants to get into the action. Daniels meets Walter Kouza, a police officer, after an attempted break in at his home. Daniels ends up shooting and slaying the perpetrator, then sits down to have a drink with Kouza. He asks Kouza an interesting question: If you could kill one slime ball, someone nobody in the world would miss, who would it be? Its one of many prepared lines that Daniels has at the ready, and it works. Kouza signs up to help Daniels carry out his fantasy crime. Kouza is a bit of a stereotypical character. He is an overzealous cop with a few too many shootings in the line of duty under his belt. He can't resist the offer Daniels makes to him, which includes an inflated salary, especially for a cop. Leonard probably does his best writing in this novel with Kouza, who has his act together just enough to be a somewhat successful cop, and a great side-kick for Daniels. The hero is Bryan Hurd. A detective with Homicide in Detroit. He enters the story as a witness in a wrongful death suit against Kouza in Detroit. At the hearing, he meets Angela Nolan, a freelance reporter. They hit off instantly, trading pickup lines and one liners, most of which make the reader want to groan. They do have several things in common, both are divorced and have a good idea what they want from a new relationship. One other thing, Nolan was working on a story about Daniels, and is Hurd's 'in' into the plot. This novel has a dark ending, and a bit of a twist, which I was not expecting. Having read two dozen novels by Leonard, there are certain plot elements that I have come to expect. Most were, and somewhat refreshingly, gone or changed. I genuinely felt bad for some of the characters at the end of the novel, and was happy to see others get their just deserts. Leonard fans that haven't picked this one up yet will find it refreshing. Those that haven't read anything by Leonard should enjoy it as well. If you are a crime fiction fan, this one is definitely for you.

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