Ken Tucker
January 27, 2012 AT 05:00 AM EST

Raylan

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Elmore Leonard
publisher
William Morrow
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A-

TV’s Justified is based on a couple of Leonard novels — and especially on a Leonard creation, deputy U.S. marshal Raylan Givens. Here Leonard seems to be having a ball using the tweaks that Justified actor Timothy Olyphant has made to Givens’ character, resulting in a kind of alternate-universe edition of the show, in which brothers Dickie and Coover Crowe get into the kidney-selling business along with a tough nurse named Layla. Raylan, a punchy mix of crime and Kentucky coal-mine sociology, is a helluva lot more than a TV tie-in, though: It’s one of Leonard’s best thrillers in years. A?

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