Rum Punch (Paperback)
Universally regarded as America's best living crime writer, Elmore Leonard tells the story of Jackie Burke and Max Cherry, a surprising due who are aiming to walk off into the Florida sunset with a hot half million in cold cash.
Jackie Burke's future looks grim. She's been a flight attendant for twenty years and she's down to working for an island-hopping airline the day she lands in Palm Beach International with fifty grand and is taken into custody. The Feds know Jackie works for a man who sells machine guns to bad guys, but they don't know his name. Jackie looks at her options. She can tell what she knows about Ordell Robbie, the gun dealer, and get off -- except that if Ordell suspects you're talking about him, you're dead. Or she can keep her mouth shut and do five years. Then she meets Max Cherry -- late fifties, recently separated, and just starting to think that maybe there's more to life than being a bail bondsman -- and sees she has more options than she thought.
Max is hooked on Jackie from the first time he sees her. But when he meets Ordell, he has quite a different reaction. Nineteen years a bail bondsman, Max knows trouble when he sees it.
Jackie comes up with a plan to play the Feds off against the bad guys and walk off with Ordell's money, but she needs Max's help. Max allows himself to be drawn in just to stay near Jackie, yet he can't help but wonder if he's being used. As for Ordell, he's making it now after years of busted deals. No one is going to stand in the way of his million-dollar payoff...