RARA-AVIS: Leonard's City Primeval

From: Michael Robison ( miker_zspider@yahoo.com)
Date: 25 Mar 2007

Third's a charm. A long time ago I tried to read Get Shorty, and I couldn't finish it. At the time it seemed like endless boring dialogue. It was a sufficiently negative experience that I still have no desire to revisit it. I finally gave him another go with 52 Pickup, but I thought it was just OK. After the recent praise for Leonard I decided to give him another shot and I packed City Primeval for a trip down to Robins Air Force base. It was good. It's about a cop trying to get a dangerous but careful killer off the streets. A big theme is that rights have expanded to the point that it is difficult to get a conviction, and that even with a conviction, the criminal doesn't stay in prison long. The criminal's thoughts:

"He admired the cops' restraint these days in not opening bedroom doors or looking inside cars without a warrant. Cops had to go by the rules or have their evidence thrown out of court. It gave Clement, he felt, an edge: he could grin at the ball yankers, antagonize them some, knowing they had to respect his rights as a citizen."

Clement had previously gotten away with three murders on a technicality. In the book, the ultimate solution to the problem is vigilante action.


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