Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tishomingo blues by Elmore Leonard

In Tishomingo Blues, Elmore Leonard weaves a web of lies, deception and half truths unraveled in the midst of a war reenactment. Up until the plan plays out, you really aren't sure which strings the proverbial puppeteer is going to pull. This story definitely wasn't the typical procedural crime novel we hear so much about. There is no "who done it?" or figuring out how or why, it is simply what's truth and what isn't - untangling the web.

Dennis Lenahan is a professional high diver that stumbles into a tight predicament. One afternoon while he is preforming at a casino, he unwittingly witnesses a murder, and only manages to avoid his own murder with the help of a narcissistic mutual friend who assures the shooters of Dennis' silence. As Dennis is walking away from the scene, thinking no one knew he was there, he runs into Robert Taylor, another witness with a plan of his own. Robert tells Dennis he can help him stay alive, but soon Dennis will have to decide where his life is going. He is at a crossroads, and he can stay on the path he's on, or help Robert to get what he wants, and have everything he's ever wanted as a result. But, what does Robert want? That's something that Dennis can only hope to discover before it is too late.

The story is interesting and it moves well, and putting the tangled web of lies and deception in the middle of a war reenactment was an intriguing idea. I enjoyed the, to me anyway, original idea, and I hope to find more books by Mr. Leonard.

Tishomingo blues

8 comments:

seana said...

Although I read several Elmore Leonard books in a swoop some years ago, this is oddly the only one I've read at all recently and I really enjoyed it. He is really the consummate artist of keeping many plates spinning in the air, and although I don't really remember all the twists and turns of the plot, I do remember the high diver and the civil war reenactors vividly. You make me want to go back and catch up with him a bit. He seems to write about one a year. For some reason, they tend to make great movies, too.

Glenna said...

He is really talented, and his characters are interesting. His style was definitely one that kept you intrigued by where it might go. Charlie, the egotistical baseball addict about had me wanting to shoot him myself.

What other Elmore Leonard are good that I should look for?

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

I'm a huge fan of EL. I have read many of his novels and enjoyed them all. I never read this one, so I skipped the details in your review (I hate any hints about any book I read) because I am going to read it. The last one I read was "Killshot" and liked it very much.

seana said...

I bet Sean can help you out with titles, Glenna. I'd say check out some of the early ones, though, just to compare. And I've heard for years that he wrote some excellent Westerns early on. They get reprinted frequently, so it shouldn't be too hard to find one.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

"Freaky Deaky", "Glitz", "Rum Punch", and "Mr.Paradise" are ones I really liked. Not into Westerns, so can't comment on those novels.

Glenna said...

Thanks Sean, I'll look for those.

Seana, I'm not big on westerns honestly, but if I come by one of his that is one I'll check it out.

I'm also enjoying the fact that his books seem to be mainly stand alone novels. I have so many series' I'm reading right now I'm hesitant to pick more up, (even though Lauren Willig is next on the list since she is coming to town for a book signing).

seana said...

I'm not into Westerns either, which is why I haven't read one, but I think that for these we should make an exception.

Glenna said...

I came by Leonard's Hot Kid on the clearance rack today and picked it up, along with Jonathan Franzen's The Twenty Seventh City. With all the hoopla surrounding Franzen I had to check him out.