Raylan: “What did he want to know?”
Art: “Whether you’d shot anybody this week.”
I remember reading Elmore’s rules of writing and fixing upon his rule “leave out the stuff people skip”. This novel is a testament to that rule; there is nothing you want to skip in it. This is one of those books that feels like you are immersed in a world, something that Elmore has been widely praised for.
This novel, Raylan, is not really a novel. Think of this work as three novellas held together with some overlap, like, say, a TV series. I think it is fair to say that you can see entire plot and character arcs from seasons two and three of Justified in this book. Clearly this isn’t a coincidence, with Elmore joining the writing team for Justified in the second season.
Far from being a criticism, the similarities between Raylan and Justified actually makes this book a cool compendium companion to the series. Just be warned, Boyd is not quite the devious and intelligent character you want to see succeed, as you do in Justified.
For fans of Justified, you will no doubt have your Morgan Freeman and Sean Connery moment, as you read all of the book with the character’s voices.