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Be Cool

Author:Elmore Leonard
Publisher:Delacorte

Shylock-turned-movie producer Chili Palmer needs a hit movie badly, after his disastrous Get Lost, the sequel to Get Leo, the wildly successful film he made after embarking on Hollywood in Elmore Leonard's last novel, Get Shorty. (Shorty was adapted for the big screen, with John Travolta in the lead. Rumors have Travolta ready to reprise the role.) Palmer's next film plays out for him in real life after he watches an old friend, a record-company executive, get gunned down outside a hip restaurant. While still a suspect in the murder and the target of hit men himself, Chili works with the LAPD to track down the killer, tangling with a hulking, gay Samoan bodyguard, Russian mobsters, gangsta rappers, a Suge Knight clone, and a not-so-grieving widow who once washed Aerosmith's undies. Meanwhile, he's taken an aspiring rock star, Linda Moon, under his wing and freed her of contract to a pimp-like manager. It's a rocky road, filled with corpses, twists, turns and a wild cast of characters. Leonard ties it all together like no one else can. Perfect material for a feature film, right? Not so bad for a novel, either. Snappy, stylish dialogue and brisk pacing make this one of Leonard's most dazzling books to date.