I haven’t read an Elmore Leonard book for quite a long time, years in fact and i found this one lurking at the bottom of a pile of books on my lounge floor that had been there for a few months. I’ve always enjoyed Elmore Leonard so thought i’d give it a go.
The book was written in 1977 but it took 10 years to be published due to its religious undertones and the publisher not knowing how to market it. Personally i don’t understand it as it didn’t really seem to be sacrilegious in any way but then again what do i know about religion. The book is about a man called Juvenal. Juvenal is an ex-priest who has the ability to heal the sick but whenever he does stigmata appear, just like Jesus‘s wounds from the cross. Although he doesn’t class himself as a saint others do, whilst some think he’s a charlatan and just looking to become a celebrity. All Juvenal wants is to go about his life and live it but others quickly realise there is profit and fame to be had from him and things take a turn for the worse. The only light for Juvenal is Lynne, someone he can talk to, who understands and accepts him for who he is. But should a saint have a girlfriend?
I enjoyed the book a lot but it was a quick read and thought it could of been padded out a little more. That said if Elmore Leonard had done that I think he could have got bogged down in the religious side of things too much which i have to say he only really skims and in my opinion is to the stories advantage.