LaBrava

LaBrava

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
14
1
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
In Miami to photograph the locals, former Secret Service agent and freelance paparazzo Joe LaBrava becomes involved in murder and mayhem when he meets once-famous actress Jean Shaw in a crisis center.

HARPERCOLL

New York Times bestselling author Elmore Leonard delivers his trademark blend of action, sex, violence, humor, and hard-boiled suspense in this thrilling crime classic, LaBrava.

Joe La Brava is an ex–Secret Service agent who gets mixed up in a South Miami Beach scam involving a redneck former cop, a Cuban hit man who moonlights as a go-go dancer, and a one-time movie queen whose world is part make-believe, part deadly dangerous.

Fast-moving, pitch-perfect, and utterly irresistible, LaBrava is, “vintage Leonard: a blend of the true-to-life and the totally make-believe, the cinematic and the suspenseful, the world we know and a whole lot of worlds we’re glad we don’t. Only Leonard can concoct such a potent cocktail.” (USA Today).



Publisher: New York : Harper, 2009
Edition: First Harper paperback
Copyright Date: ©1983
ISBN: 9780061767692
0061767697
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY LEONA...E
Characteristics: 414 pages ; 21 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Quotes

Add a Quote

j
jimg2000
Sep 17, 2017

The old man was showing off. Letting her know, yeah, it was a rough place, but he knew his way around. Ballsy little eighty-year-old guy. What it came down to, Maurice loved South Beach.
===

September the second, 1935, I happen to be on Islamorada working on the Key West extension, Florida East Coast line, right?” Evelyn knew every detail, how the ’35 hurricane tore into the keys and Maurice got pictures of the worst railroad disaster in Florida history. Two hundred and eighty-six men working on the road killed or missing . . .
===
“You don’t see any bullshit here. He shoots barefaced fact. He’s got the feel and he makes you feel it.”
===

… he lowered his head, peered at her over his glasses, then pushed them up on his nose: a gesture, like tipping his hat.
===
These people, time has passed them by. Here, Lummus Park. They look like a flock of birds, uh? The nose shields, like beaks.

j
jimg2000
Sep 17, 2017

They got nothing to do, sit out front but complain. Use to be the colored guys, now it’s the Cubans, the Haitians, making noise on the street, grabbing their purses. Graubers, they call ’em, momzers, loomps. ‘Run the loomps off, Morris. Keep them away from here, and the nabkas.’ That’s the hookers. I’m starting to sound like ’em, these almoonas with the dyed hair. I call ’em my bluebirds, they love it.
===

There were lighted windows along the block of three- and four-story hotels, pale stucco in faded pastels, streamlined moderne facing the Atlantic from a time past: each hotel expressing its own tropical deco image in speed lines, wraparound corners, accents in glass brick, bas relief palm trees and mermaids.
===

“They pick you up in this state on a Meyers Act,” LaBrava said, “it means you’re weaving around with one eye closed, smashed. They pick you up on a Baker Act it means you’re acting weird in public and’re probably psycho.

j
jimg2000
Sep 17, 2017

He felt himself attracted to street life. It was a strange feeling, he was at home, knew the people; saw more outcast faces and attitudes than he would ever be able to record, people who showed him their essence behind all kinds of poses—did Maurice understand this?—and trapped them in his camera for all time.
===

… waiting for the one interruption of the day. The arrival of the mailman.
===

He had seen swamps become cities, a bridge extended to a strip of mangrove in the Atlantic Ocean and Miami Beach was born.
===

… when I worked for the septic tank outfit and wrestled alligators on the weekends? It was because I had the experience being married to my first wife.
===

She was in love with me.” “I don’t think you’ve introduced me to any who weren’t.”
===

“See what a beauty you are when you’re drunk?” Shame her into sobriety. But if the woman had a problem with booze it would be a waste of time.

j
jimg2000
Sep 17, 2017

Sounding drunk, but with a swagger that was part the guy’s brute nature and would not be contained for long; his size, his eighteen-inch neck giving him permission to do as he pleased. LaBrava had known a few Richard Nobles.
===

Progress. The zoners are out to get us, man, cover the planet like one big enclosed shopping mall. We’re getting malled and condoed, if you didn’t know it. Gray and tan, earth tones.
===

It’s good to be hungry, too. You do better work.
===

Cundo Rey had come ashore in Dade County only a few years ago, boat-lifted out of Cambinado del Este prison and had worked hard to learn English—asking the girls why they didn’t correct him and the girls saying, because he talked cute.
===

Nobles, with his size, his golden hair, his desire to break and injure, his air of muscular confidence, was fascinating to watch. A swamp creature on the loose.

j
jimg2000
Sep 17, 2017

I don’t know what I’m suppose to do here, besides stare at the ocean.” She came away from the window to the sofa, finally looking at him as she said, “I can do that at home. I think it’s the same ocean I’ve been looking at for the past . . . I don’t know, round it off, say a hundred years.”
===
What he saw from the window was timeless, a Florida post card. The strip of park across the street. The palm trees in place, the sea grape. The low wall you could sit on made of coral rock and gray cement. And the beach. What a beach. A desert full of people resting, it was so wide. People out there with blankets and umbrellas. People in the green part of the ocean, before it turned deep blue. People so small they could be from any time. Turn the view around.
===

A 1950s movie star with dark hair parted in the middle, pale pure skin, black pupils, eyes that stared with cool expressions, knowing something, never smiling except with dark secrets.

j
jimg2000
Sep 17, 2017

Picciolo’s, Maurice said, height of the season you couldn’t get near the place, the cars lined up outside. Now you could shoot a cannon off in here, maybe hit a waiter.
===

…the neighborhood taken over by junkies, muggers, cutthroats, queers, you name it. Cubans off the boat-lift, Haitians who had swum ashore when their boats broke to pieces, old-time New York Jews once the backbone, eyeing each other with nothing remotely in common, not even the English language. The vampires came out at night and the old people triple-locked their doors and waited for morning. Ass-end of Miami Beach down here.
===

Look at her. She’s got a shopping cart she pushes down Lincoln Road Mall, it’s fulla plastic bags, bottles, old copies of The Wall Street Journal.
===

Two blocks from the Miami Beach Police station, they had over two hundred assaults, shootings, knifings, rapes, ripoffs and what have you in that one hotel alone last year.

j
jimg2000
Sep 17, 2017

“She was a movie star, Joe. They’re all a little nuts.”
===

“Then he’s looking for a free ride. Dinner at the club, some new outfits, little spending money . . . That’s how those guys operate. They been around Miami Beach since the day they built the bridge.”
===

“You look pretty good.” “Thanks. I’ve always wanted to look pretty good.”
===

“I told him I might be dead, but he’d be squatting to take a leak for the rest of his life.”
===

“I sign a complaint, I know damn well what’ll happen. Get cross-examined at the hearing—didn’t I invite him over? Offer him a drink? I end up looking like a part-time hooker and Mr. America walks. “
===

You guys, IRS, you got a job to do—keep that money coming in to run the government, send guns to all the different places they need guns, defend our ass against . . . you know what I’m talking about.

j
jimg2000
Sep 17, 2017

“The review in the paper said, ‘The aesthetic sub-text of his work is the systematic exposure of artistic pretension.’ I thought I was just taking pictures.”
===

“You been reading the funnypaper, haven’t you? I love to hear boogers like you talking about setting people up and shooting ’em—Lord have mercy, like you done it all and taken the midnight train more’n once, huh? “
===

“See, they all in the yard, all around the embassy of Peru, all these thousands of people waiting to leave Havana when it first started, when Fidel decided okay. But they don’t have no food. So you know what they ate? They ate a papaya tree, man. The whole tree. Then they ate a dog. You know what else they ate? They ate cats, man. They killed and ate the cats.”
===

“He saw the light.” “He saw the knife we got holding against his back. “
===

I’m afraid, for South Beach bazooms. They’ve served their purpose, we hope.

j
jimg2000
Sep 17, 2017

He was looking at a hotel now on the north end of the street. “Here we are, the Elysian Fields.” He passed it to Franny and she said, “Ten million cockroaches down in the basement holding it up, straining their little backs.”
===

“Joe, I’m forty-six years old and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.”
===

“Dames are always pulling a switch on you,” LaBrava said. Paco said, “What?” “Something a guy in a movie said.”
===

“What’s the matter?” “Notting is the mattah.” With an accent that was both tribal and British. “You always look pissed off.” “It is the way you see, not the way I look.”
===

“You saw the driver of the Pontiac.” “Yes, a Cuban man.” “What’d he look like?” “I told you, a Cuban man. That’s what he look like.”

j
jimg2000
Sep 17, 2017

“Jeanie, any woman I know would trade places with you in a minute. You got the looks, guys’re attracted to you—sometimes the wrong type, I’ll grant you. You got a nice life . . .”
===

“You know what I think of that particular kind of pride—from eighty-years experience, from knowing all kinds of successful people with all kinds of dough who are now dead or else in jail? I think it’s a bunch of shit. Money and success’ve got nothing to do with making it on a day to day basis, and that’s all that counts.”
===

“Quit thinking, start doing something. Girl with your intelligence, your talent . . . I’m telling you, money ain’t it.”
===

Franny was still in the mauve string bikini. She had a pinkish tan, freckles on her chest. She had a deep groove between her breasts, round bare hips and naked belly, like a young belly dancer on her day off—except for her round tinted glasses and that wiry hair; that hair was Franny and nobody else.

View All Quotes

Comment

Add a Comment

j
jimg2000
Sep 17, 2017

The woman looked younger, much younger, in her fifties was Jean Shaw. Like Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, a movie star but living in South Beach, Florida, looking for thrills. Maurice Zola was a wealthy octogenarian, retired bookmaker who didn’t know he was old. Joe LaBrava was a stud in his thirties, a photographer and former Secret Service agent. Maurice would do anything for Jean and Joe was protective of Maurice ... both under Jean's spell. Elmore's only work honored to win the 1984 Edgar Award for Best Novel. A page turner with vivid stories of old Miami with the influx of criminal elements along with Cubans off the boat-lift.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at GL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top