Sad news today: Elmore Leonard, author of such crime novels as “Get Shorty” and “Glitz,” has passed away at 87 after recently suffering a stroke.
I won’t pretend to be an expert on Leonard. I’ve read a few of his books – I reviewed his final book published before his death, “Raylan,” in February 2012 – and I appreciated his knack for making his bad guys as interesting as, or more interesting than, his good guys.
I also appreciated Leonard’s nurturing of “Justified,” the FX series based on his short story “Fire in the Hole,” about Raylan Givens, a deputy U.S. marshal working in Kentucky.
As he finds himself up against meth dealers and murderers, Raylan was cool and compelling, especially when dealing with lifelong antagonist Boyd Crowder.
Leonard didn’t have a lot of love for movie and TV versions of his work, but he liked Graham Yost’s “Justified” and had some kind of synergy going with it, contributing story ideas and writing an episodic novel (the aforementioned “Raylan”) drawn from the same setting.
We’ll miss you, Mr. Leonard.