Readers who come to Rum Punch
after having seen Quentin Tarantino's 1997 film adaptation, Jackie Brown
, are in for a few surprises. Mainly, Jackie Burke
is a 44-year-old white woman (but just as hard-boiled as Pam Grier), bail bondsman Max Cherry has a much more prominent role in the proceedings, and the novel takes place in Miami--not Los Angeles. The core of the story, however, remains the same: when the cops try to use Jackie to get at Ordell Robbie, the gunrunner she's been bringing cash into the country for, she hatches a plan--with help from Max--to keep the money for herself. It all comes together in the traditional Elmore Leonard style, where the conversations are as crisply written and suspenseful as the action scenes. --Ron Hogan
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"The greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever!"--The New York Times Book Review