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Quiverby Peter Leonard
Synopses & Reviews
“Quiver is a spectacular debut….With a large cast of characters—each presented as meticulously as an Andrew Wyeth portrait—and numerous points of view, all funneling inevitably to a stunning conclusion, you will be holding your breath until the final page. Peters dad should be proud.”
“A strong debut that combines a tight plot (about a deadly double-cross in the woods of Michigan) with memorable characters and dialogue—come to think of it, not unlike what Leonards father, Elmore Leonard, creates.”
“An outstanding debut….Leonard, the son of grandmaster mystery writer Elmore Leonard, deftly utilizes frequent flashback scenes in a tense tale thats easily one of the best crime novels of the year.”
--East Lansing Journal
“The best parts of the novel concern the crooks, who, if not as gloriously quirky as those in Elmore Leonards novels, are sometimes funny and sometimes scary.”
"Peter Leonard's energetic style makes one forget the name Elmore and concentrate on the Leonard....Good writing may be in his genes, but the style's all his own."
--Oline Cogdill, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel
One of the most riveting and powerful new voices in crime fiction, Peter Leonard delivers a razor-sharp debut thriller.
Kate McCalls husband has been killed by her son, Luke, in a tragic bow-hunting accident. While Kate struggles with her sons surly guilt, her first love, Jack, an ex-con, reappears, along with a crew of his former “colleagues.” While Jack must convince his partners in crime that he really did lose the heist money, his appearance sets into motion a series of events culminating in a life-and-death confrontation with a gang of killers.
Leonard displays remarkable maturity for a first-time novelist in both the plotting of the story and the language of his protagonists. The twists and turns of a love affair, an unrequited crush, and a kidnapping/extortion plot complement a tightly drawn, intimate cast of memorably quick and dim-witted characters.
Quiver marks the breakthrough of a new force in thriller writing---an explosive and unforgettable debut.
Praise for Quiver:
“With its clever plotting and blood-and-guts characters, Quiver will certainly put Peter Leonard on the map. This is the start of something special.”
---Michael Connelly, New York Times bestselling author of The Overlook
“Quiver's supercharged plot, rhythmic dialogue, and cool-under-pressure characters kept me reading into the night. An impressive, exciting debut from Peter Leonard.”
---George Pelecanos, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Gardener
"Quiver is a surprise and a delight, a twisty deadpan troll through some very devious neighborhoods. I welcome Peter Leonard and look forward to whatever he wants to offer next."
--- Donald Westlake
"Quiver is terrific. I have to make the corniest admission of all: Couldn't put it down."
---Mike Lupica, NY Daily News columnist
“Peter Leonards first novel, Quiver, amply shows that hes the great Elmores son. This book is a wicked trip with the creeps and pukes that inhabit the criminal world who collide with a convincing heroine. The setting in the rural north of Michigan is unique and engaging. I salute Peter Leonard at the beginning of what will obviously be a fine career.”
---Jim Harrison, author of Returning to Earth and Legends of the Fall
"Quiver is a terrific debut. Peter Leonard has a good ear for voices, a good eye for detail, and a talent for bringing together elements that can't do anything but explode."
---Edgar Award Winner Thomas Perry, author of Silence
"A fatal hunting accident propels this disappointing debut set in Detroit and environs from Leonard, the son of legendary crime writer Elmore Leonard. Given that 16-year-old Luke McCall shoots an arrow that passes through a deer and kills his former race-car champion father, Owen, one might expect more focus on Luke's psychological torment than on the efforts of Owen's devastated widow, Kate, to contend with a string of unscrupulous suitors, starting with her old lover, Jack Curran, who once rescued Kate from a Peace Corps assignment in Guatemala turned ugly. Curran conceals not only his recent prison stint but also his continued association with a group of desperate and sadistic criminals, including Teddy Hicks, who assaulted Owen several years earlier. A kidnapping engineered by Hicks and company leads to a violent showdown at the McCalls' hunting lodge. A muddled plot, one-dimensional characters and a predictable ending will leave readers hoping for better things in Leonard's next novel." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Life, as our leaders keep reminding us, is unfair, and that's true in spades in the book review game. To start with, roughly a zillion books are published for every one that is reviewed. What's more, even if you do get reviewed — I speak from hard experience — your book is far more likely to fall into the hands of a numskull who hates it than to find its way to a sensitive soul who appreciates its... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) greatness. Such is the literary life. In the case of Peter Leonard's 'Quiver,' it's unfair to other first novelists that his book will be more widely reviewed than theirs simply because he is Elmore Leonard's son. On the other hand, it's unfair to Peter Leonard that many reviewers will feel compelled to compare his book with those of the master craftsman who is his father. Let's get that part out of the way: The son's fictional skills, as demonstrated in his first novel, are not in the same ballpark as his father's. Of course, neither are those of just about anyone else who writes crime fiction. Peter Leonard's novel is about a damsel in distress. Her name is Kate McCall, and in short order she loses her husband, has serious problems with her teenage son and is targeted by four crooks who hope to separate her from her wealth. Kate is a bit too good to be true, and the best parts of the novel concern the crooks, who, if not as gloriously quirky as those in Elmore Leonard's novels, are sometimes funny and sometimes scary. They keep the story bouncing along until we reach the point where the plucky mom must kill or be killed. We learn on the first page that Kate's husband, Owen McCall, was accidentally killed by their son while the two were hunting deer with bow and arrow. Kate once served in the Peace Corps, and Owen was a race car driver who became the owner of a racing franchise. Six months after Owen's death, handsome and glib Jack Curran, Kate's lover during her college years, re-enters the picture. In college she finally figured out that he supported himself by stealing cars and selling drugs. One reason she joined the Peace Corps was to get away from him. When he seeks her out 16 years later, she doesn't know that he's just out of prison. He tells her he's become a real estate mogul and persuades her to invest $50,000 in an illusory land deal. Worse, three far more dangerous crooks, Teddy, Celeste and DeJuan, force Jack into a scheme to kidnap Kate's son and hold him for a $2 million ransom. Jack would rather marry Kate than rob her, but the others don't give him a choice. Now and then, reading along, I would spot what I thought of as an Elmore moment, when something quirky or funny or ultra-realistic would turn up. One comes when a rich man hires DeJuan to kill his hard-bitten wife. When the killer turns up in her bedroom with a gun, the first thing the wife says is 'Whatever he's paying you, I'll double it.' That's an Elmore moment, as was Jack's timely conversion to Christianity in prison, which won him an early parole. Another of the crooks, Teddy, is profoundly stupid, and his inability to get the point of anything is a running joke. (Example: When someone says love is blind, Teddy thinks it over and says he disagrees because blind people fall in love, too.) Unfortunately, there are other moments when the younger Leonard, who is a partner in an advertising agency, tries too hard to please us. Kate and Owen meet cute when their shopping carts collide in a grocery store. When Kate's in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, she offends the local police chief, who sends two of his men to rape her. They handcuff her, carry her into the jungle, tear her clothes off — but then get too drunk to consummate the deed; Leonard wants the drama of the attempted rape but not the reality of it happening to his heroine. Kate has a gal-pal neighbor who's fat, bawdy and straight out of a sitcom: 'I'm back on South Beach, my last diet. If this doesn't work, it's lipo.' We could have done without the tired comic relief. And it's hard to buy the proposition that smart, tough Kate would be gulled by a smooth-talking ex-con whose criminal proclivities she's known for years. The novel's early action takes place in and around Detroit and then moves to Kate's lodge in the woods of northern Michigan, where Leonard devises a suspenseful and bloody ending as the four crooks, Kate and her son, some cops and some local hunters, all heavily armed, try to settle things. 'Quiver' is an easy read, but it's in no way outstanding. My advice, if you want a shot of Leonard, is to seek out Elmore's overlooked gem 'LaBrava.' Is that unfair to his son, who in middle age has brought forth his first novel? Perhaps, but it's good advice to readers in search of dazzling crime fiction." Reviewed by Patrick Anderson, whose e-mail address is mondaythrillers(at symbol)aol.com, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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QUIVER is the razor sharp debut from one of the most riveting new voices in crime fiction today--a superbly crafted thriller from the son of the grandmaster of mysteries
A superbly crafted thriller from the son of Elmore Leonard, this razor-sharp debut tells the story of a family torn apart, an obsessive love affair, and the dark heart of an ex-convict. Martin's Press.
Kate McCalls husband has been killed by her son, Luke, in a tragic bow-hunting accident. While Kate struggles with her loss and Lukes surly guilt, her first love, Jack, an ex-con, comes back to Detroit, looking for redemption. Even though his past—in the form of his former “colleagues”— trails close behind…
Now, Jack must convince his partners in crime that he really did lose the heist money—and find a way to win Kates trust. But Jacks return to civil society sets into motion a series of events culminating in dangerous seduction, extortion, and a high-risk confrontation with a gang of killers who dont believe in second chances…and are dead-set at getting even. No matter what the cost.
Kate McCalls husband is killed by her teenage son, Luke, in a tragic bow hunting accident--an incident that sets into motion a series of events, culminating in a dramatic, life and death confrontation with a gang of killers. Included in the gang is Kate's first love - an ex-con who himself is struggling to persuade his former "colleagues" that he really did lose the heist money.
Peter Leonard displays remarkable maturity for a first-time novelist in both the language of his protagonists and plotting the story - the twists and turns of a love affair, an unrequited crush and a kidnapping/extortion plot complement a tightly-drawn, intimate cast of memorably quick and dim-witted characters all set around the Leonard family's home turf of Detroit. QUIVER marks the entry of a powerful new voice in crime fiction - and a masterful and powerful debut.
About the Author
Peter Leonard is the son of Elmore Leonard, the grand master of crime fiction. He lives in Birmingham, Michigan with his wife, Julie, and his four children, Tim, Alex, Max, and Kate. Quiveris his first novel. Visit him at www.peterleonardbooks.com
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