By Penny Clift
Here we are in the midst of another long hot summer and the final season of Justified is still 6 months away. We can get an Olyphant fix in September when “This Is Where I Leave You” premieres but until then you might want to learn about Raylan Givens’ beginnings.
Raylan first appeared in the Elmore Leonard novel “Pronto”. When the feds want Miami bookmaker, Harry Arno, to squeal on his boss, they put the pressure on him by putting the word out that Harry is skimming profits. This tale proves to be true. Harry is skimming money so he decides it is a good time to retire to Italy.
Unfortunately for Harry, U.S. Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens is determined to track him down. Harry ditched Givens once in an airport while in his custody. Raylan is dead set on finding Harry’s Italian hideaway before cold -blooded Sicilian “Zip” finds him and whacks him. For Raylan it is a matter of pride and a chance to get in good with Harry’s sexy stripper girlfriend, Joyce.
From the beginning of Harry’s troubles to the breathtaking climax, it is a fun ride. Readers will love the amusing wrap up to the story.
Leonard’s next Raylan adventure is “Riding the Rap”. It finds Raylan once again tracking down his old nemesis, Harry Arno. Raylan is sleeping with Harry’s ex girlfriend, sexy stripper, Joyce. When Harry is kidnapped, Joyce urges Raylan to investigate.
What Raylan finds is a middle aged pothead living in his mother’s beach mansion, Chip Ganz. Ganz has hatched a kidnapping plot and chooses Harry as the target. Enter his cohorts an ex-con, a preening psychotic and a sexy psychic and the crazy begins. Raylan’s search leads him into a New Age world of Tarot Cards and Hugger conventions. Everyone is packing heat and we all know there will be some lethal confrontations before Harry is free.
“Fire in the Hole” is a short story by Elmore Leonard. Justified is based on “Fire in the Hole”.
This story finds Marshal Raylan Givens returning to his home state of Kentucky. The marshal service wants Raylan to investigate his old boyhood friend, Boyd Crowder. Crowder is a mail order ordained minister who doesn’t believe in paying income taxes. Boyd is planning to blow up the IRS office in Cincinnati and Raylan is asked to intervene.
Givens and Crowder have a respect for each other but are set on a course of confrontation between lawman and outlaw. Throw Boyd’s sexy sister-in-law Ava, who carries a torch for Raylan, into the mix and the story becomes a volatile mix of violence and humor.
Get this great signed Raylan Givens Photo here
“Raylan” is the last Givens novel Elmore Leonard penned. Justified inspired the writer to spin one more Marshal Givens tale and oh what a story!
Dope dealing brothers, Dickie and Coover Crowe, decide to get into the body part selling business. It is up to Raylan Givens to unravel the body selling conspiracy.
The story has a host of shady female characters. There is Nurse Layla who almost gets the best of Raylan when he finds himself in a bathtub, drugged and about to lose his kidneys.
Carol Conlan is a ruthless coal mining executive who stops at nothing to accomplish her goals. Carol has an agenda and she doesn’t intend to let anyone stand in her way.
Jackie Nevada is a beautiful college student who can outplay anyone at the poker table. Jackie finds herself the target of handsome U.S. Marshal Givens. A situation not entirely unpleasant to her.
"Raylan" is full of the witty, sharp dialogue Jusitied is known for as well as the humor and violence that make Leonad’s stories so fun to read.
So if you need a Raylan fix grab one of the Marshal Givens books by Elmore Leonard and enjoy your summer reading about Raylan!