Elmore Leonard wrote forty-five novels across his six-decade career, including the bestsellers Road Dogs, Up in Honey’s Room, The Hot Kid, Mr. Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, and the critically acclaimed collection of short stories When the Women Come Out to Dance. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Jackie Brown. Justified, the hit series from FX, is based on Leonard’s character Raylan Givens, who appears in “Riding the Rap, Pronto, the short story Fire in the Hole, and the novel Raylan. Leonard received the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA, and the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He was known to many as the “Dickens of Detroit” and had lived in the Detroit area since 1934.
In this never-before-published story, Elmore Leonard, the late “modern master of American genre writing,” puts a darkly playful twist on the Wild West showdown. Set in a dusty Arizona town when Apaches still roamed the land, Confession tells the tale of Father Schwinn, a gentle but imposing priest who smokes cigars, swills whiskey, and feels right at home with the rough cowboys and stagecoach drivers who hang out at the local saloon. When two saddlebags filled with cash mysteriously appear on the steps of Father Schwinn’s church, he finds himself caught up in a crime that puts his vows of nonviolence to the test.
Written in 1958, when Leonard was working as a copywriter for an ad agency in Detroit, Confession shows the nascent genius of a man who would reinvent contemporary storytelling with western tales like 3:10 to Yuma,The Tall T, and Hombre, all of which made their way to the big screen. A destined-to-be-classic tale by the “absolute master” of violence, vice, and eventual redemption.
This never-before-published story is a chilling forebear to the tales that made the late, great Elmore Leonard the “King Daddy” of crime with a twist. Told from the perspective of a young wife who’s become increasingly frustrated with her mild-mannered husband, The Trespassers begins as a quiet domestic drama and quickly escalates into a nightmare. When Evan refuses to confront men who are illegally hunting on the couple’s remote homestead, Chris takes matters into her own hands, with terrifying results.
Written in 1958, when Leonard was working at a Detroit advertising agency and writing short stories on the side, The Trespassers shows the emerging talent of a man whose spare style and dark wit would redefine a literary genre. Filled with as much sexual menace as Sam Peckinpah’s classic thriller Straw Dogs, this timelessly relevant story delivers a sly surprise that could only come from the mind of Elmore Leonard.
Praise for Elmore Leonard:
A master of narrative … A poet of the vernacular … Leonard paints an intimate, precise, funny, frightening, and irresistible mural of the American underworld.”—The New Yorker
“Leonard has penned some of the best western fiction ever.”—USA Today
“Even the earliest of his western yarns shows Leonard to be a master storyteller.”—The Los Angeles Times
“People look on writers that they like as an irreplaceable resource. I do. Elmore Leonard, every day I wake up and—not to be morbid or anything, although morbid is my life to a degree—don’t see his obituary in the paper, I think to myself, ‘Great! He’s probably working somewhere. He’s gonna produce another book, and I’ll have another book to read.’ Because when he’s gone, there’s nobody else.”— Stephen King
“Elmore Leonard is an awfully good writer of the sneaky sort; he is so good you don’t even notice what he’s up to.”—The New York Times Book Review
“[Leonard’s] finely honed sentences can sound as flinty/poetic as Hemingway or as hard-boiled as Raymond Chandler. His ear for the way people talk—or should—is peerless.”—The Detroit News
“[Leonard’s] characters leap from the page with a few short keystrokes, like a form of bloodstained haiku”—The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
“ A major literary star … He defies categorization, and when you do try to categorize him, you are invariably wrong.”—The Chicago Tribune
“Leonard is the best in the business: His dialogue snaps, his characters are more alive than most of the people you meet on the street, and his twisting plots always resolve themselves with a no-nonsense plausibility.”—Newsday
“An authentic American icon.”—The Seattle Times
“Elmore Leonard may be the last hope for the written word.”—The New York Observer
“In cowboy writing, Leonard belongs on the same A-list as Louis L’Amour, Owen Wister, and Zane Grey.”—The New York Daily News