THE HOT KID, by Elmore Leonard

Published in 2005, Leonard bring to roaring life wild-and-woolly middle America in the 30's, when gangsters ruled Kansas City, Tulsa was a oil boom town, and Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson were on the loose, and Prohibition made criminals out of almost everyone. Money ruled and the law was what money said it was, and U. S. Marshall Carl Webster is notching up gangster kills at an impressive rate. Polite, turned out impeccably with a trademark straw hat, Webster is cool, a recurring theme in Leonard's work. Jack Belmont, sociopathic son of an oil millionaire, wants to be a notorious bad guy. Webster wants to be a notorious lawman. Lulie wants to be Webster's girl but also to be known as Baby Face Nelson's moll. And Tony Antonelli wants to be a famous writer of hard-boiled detective fiction. From the Webster family pecan groves to gushers to speakeasies, this fast novel has it all. A 5.