Review: Road Dogs

Road Dogs
Road Dogs by Elmore Leonard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Brief, simple and uninvolving, this carries all the Leonard trademarks: an invisible, fluid writing style; crackling dialogue; and characters that stand distinctive from one another as rounded and complete, although the latter is undoubtedly helped by Leonard’s familiarity with characters he has used previously in ‘Out of Sight’, ‘La Brava’ and ‘Riding the Rap’. However, it’s this familiarity which is the novel’s weakest element, as no time is given to anything approaching character development and the whole thing plays out in a strangely linear fashion: crosses are telegraphed; lead character Jack Foley is too wise to everyone around him without the reader ever being given an insight into his knowledge; characters change motivations and behaviours seemingly at random, and the whole plot seems to twist and turn on Leonard’s whim rather than any viable narrative flow. It’s readable without being engaging, and not on of his better works.

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