Mr Paradise pays Chloe and Kelly to play cheerleaders. To dance while he watches reruns of Michigan's finest football games. At least that's the story that hired-help Montez Taylor tells cop Frank Delsa. Delsa's called in to investigate a double homicide: old man Paradise and a girl dressed as a cheerleader. He's got a witness - a second cheerleader - but she can't decide whether her name's Chloe or Kelly. Nobody it seems is playing it straight - least of all the two trigger-happy hit men cruising Detroit's mean streets. But with a beautiful witness who might or might not want his protection, Delsa's ready to play for time ...Elmore Leonard is in top form with Mr Paradise which is set right back in his home town of Detroit, Motor City, scene of many of his greatest books.
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It's a dubious proposition from the outset, destined to lead to trouble: Chloe Robinette, a high-end former Detroit call girl, asks her lingerie model roommate, Kelly Barr, to help her entertain a wealthy octogenarian trial lawyer named Anthony Paradiso. By "entertain," she means donning a cheerleader's skimpy skirt, but going topless, and doing rah-rah routines beside a TV set while Paradiso--"Mr. Paradise"--watches videotaped football games. A bit kinky for Kelly's taste, but she finally goes along--only to be caught in the middle of a contract hit on Paradiso and Chloe. Rather than tell what little she knows of these crimes, Kelly buys into a scheme, concocted by Paradiso's right-hand man, Montez Taylor, that could lead to a huge payoff from the lawyer's estate. But only if the 27-year-old Kelly can convincingly assume Chloe's identity ...
Elmore Leonard, who's made his career writing about not-too-bright bad guys, fills Mr. Paradise with several memorable specimens of that breed. In addition to Montez, who'd resented his politically incorrect boss for cutting him out of his will, there's also a bottom-feeding defense attorney, Avern Cohn, who runs a murder-for-hire operation on the side, and his well-armed employees of the month, "tough monkeys" Carl Fontana and Arthur Krupa. Less credibly and entertainingly crafted is Frank Delsa, the widowed homicide detective whose hunt for Paradiso's killers is complicated by his attraction to the curvilinear Kelly. This romantic subplot is overly predictable and deflates early expectations that the cunning young model is playing some deeper game here, working an angle that neither Delsa nor Montez anticipates.
After penning a string of character-propelled novels set in Florida (including Glitz, Out of Sight, and the particularly winning La Brava), it's good to see Leonard exploiting the Detroit backdrop again, as he did so expertly in a few of his earlier successes (City Primeval and Killshot, for instance). Yet while Mr. Paradise is rich with comic dialogue and cop-shop color, it never goes beyond the expectations of a Leonard work. This author is too good not to take more chances. --J. Kingston PierceFrom the Back Cover :
Roommates Kelly and Chlöe are enjoying their lives and their downtown Detroit loft just fine. Kelly is a Victoria's Secret catalog model. Chlöe is an escort, until she decides to ditch her varied clientele in favor of a steady gig as girlfriend to eighty-four-year-old retired lawyer Tony Paradiso, a.k.a. Mr. Paradise.
Evenings at Mr. Paradise's house, there's always an old Michigan football game on TV. And when Chlöe's around, there's a cheerleader, too, complete with pleated skirt and blue-and-gold pompoms. One night Chlöe convinces Kelly to join in the fun, along with Montez Taylor, Tony's smooth-talking right-hand man.
But things go awry and before the end of the evening there will be two corpses, two angry hit men, one switch of identity, a safe-deposit box full of loot up for grabs, and, fast on the scene, detective Frank Delsa, who now has another double homicide -- and this one with a beautiful, willful witness -- to add to his already heavy caseload.
With a cool cast, snappy dialogue, and all the twists and turns fans crave, Mr. Paradise is Elmore Leonard at home in Detroit and sharper than ever.
Performed by Robert Forster
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Description du livre Penguin, 2005. Paperback. État : Brand New. 304 pages. In Stock. N° de réf. du libraire zk014100987X
Description du livre Penguin Books, 2005. Paperback. État : New. book. N° de réf. du libraire 014100987X