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The Hot Kid
# 1 in Carl Webster
‘The crime laureate’ – Independent
Before Elmore Leonard abandoned westerns to blaze across the pantheon of bestsellerdom with his hip, stylish thrillers, punctuated with dead-pan humour and dialogue worthy of a David Mamet play, he might have written The Hot Kid; it has some of the same crisp pacing and well-defined, if not especially complex, characters that marked his earlier novels. A show-down between Tulsa oil wildcatter and millionaire Oris Belmont and his 18-year-old son, who’s attempting to shake him down, says all there is to say about both men:
“I don’t know what’s wrong with you. You’re a nice-looking boy, wear a clean shirt every day, keep your hair combed … where’d you get your ugly disposition? Your mama blames me for not being around, so then I give you things .. you get in trouble, I get you out. Well, now you’ve moved on to extortion in your life of crime … I pay you what you want or you’re telling everybody I have a girlfriend?”