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Raylan Givens Books In Order

Publication Order of Raylan Givens Books

Pronto (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Riding the Rap (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Raylan (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Raylan Givens is the name of the main character and doubles up as the title of a series of books, which involves tracking down a person on the run, penned by octogenarian American novelist Elmore Leonard. The author’s birth name is Elmore John Leonard, Jr. Leonard is a screenwriter and has also written several lauded short stories.

Raylan Givens, who is a past master at using firearms, is the featured protagonist in the Raylan Givens series written by Elmore Leonard. Mobsters, gambling operations, and vendettas are some of the aspects contained therein. There are about forty editions of the first book in the said series. Even then the earliest edition of the first book portraying protagonist Raylan Gives was published in 1993 and is titled Pronto. The adverb ‘pronto’ means without delay. The Raylan Givens series of book is shelved under the mystery, thriller, true crime, and detective fiction genres.

A devoted and experienced law enforcer, and a top-notch marksman, Ryalan Givens is not just another run-off-the-mill character. Meet Ryalan Givens. Givens, who is a male, hails from Harlan County in Kentucky. He is in his forties and has a penchant for Stretson Cowboy hats. Givens had a troubled childhood and a bad relationship with Arlo Givens, his father and a criminal. His biological mother was called Frances Givens. He also had a step-mother called Helen Givens; surprisingly, she was also his aunt (having been his mother’s sister). These relatives have since died. His former wife is called Winona Hawkins. He has several young children called Ricky, Randy, Alex (these are sons), and girl called Willa.

Disgruntled by the criminal and corrupt ways of the then Harlan County, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and saw action during Desert Storm operation. However, he quit and joined the US Marshal Service. In this context, he is assigned manhunting roles. He is currently a divorcee after Winona left him for a realtor.

The first book in this serialized Raylan Givens, Pronto, notably features protagonist Raylan Givens. However, the cynosure and character upon whom the plot revolves around is Harry Arno. Arno, who is in his sixties, not only runs a gambling business but is also involved with a powerful mobster in Miami. Despite the fact that Arno and the leader of the mobster, Jimmy Capotorto, share the gambling proceeds equally, it is Arno who foots the operating costs, solely. Arno starts stashing away some of the profits behind Capotorto’s back in a bid to not only offset the operating costs but also save towards a retirement plan which he is looking forward to; his preferred destination is Italy.

The turning point is an irked Jimmy Capotorto who is made by the authorities to believe–it is also true–that bookie Arno has been short-changing him. Incidentally, the authorities did it to scuttle the partnership between Arno and Capotorto, and, most importantly to prompt Arno to turn against the latter. The authorities are angling for making Arno testify against Capotorto, who is on their watch list, for legal redress purpose. Unfortunately for the authorities, their plan fails miserably after they brainwash Capotorto. And thus the hornet’s nest has been stirred. As Capotorto, through a no-nonsense mafia enforcer, comes hard on Arno, the latter runs for his dear life; Arno is secretly informed of the authorities’ hideous plans by a friend.

Contrary to the authorities’ opinion that he would approach them for security and thus get a bargaining chip, Arno goes into hiding in Italy. Marshall Ryalan Givens comes in here. He is chosen and mandated to protect Arno from the wrathful mafia after the bookie survives an assassination attempt.

Raylan Givens: TV Shows and Movies; Media Tie-in
Many books authored by Elmore Leonard have been adapted for films and TV series. In total, there are over twenty five screen adaptations. However, the following are the film and TV series based on protagonist Raylan Givens. There is a film adaptation of the book called Pronto. On the one hand, the film, which was produced in 1997 and also goes by the same title, features American actor James LeGros as Raylan Givens. On the other hand, the 2001 short story titled Fire in the Hole, which also features character Raylan Givens, was adapted for a film series. The adaptation, which is titled Justified, features Timothy Olyphant. The first episode of this series, which has six seasons and a total of 78 episodes, first aired on March 2010 and the last episode aired on January 2015.

The Justified series became an instant hit, and prompted author Elmore Leonard to undertake a novelization project. He has since published a novel titled Ryalan (2012) from the Justified TV series produced by FX Network.

Raylan Givens: Awards
Elmore Leonard has won different awards for his literary works and respective adaptations. For instance, in 2010, the author clinched the Peabody Award, thanks to the Justified series, which was based on character Raylan Givens. In 1992, the Mystery Writers of America gave him the coveted Grand Master Award for his bountiful life-long accomplishment. Other awards include National Book Award (in 2012) and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Award, awarded in 2008.

Best Books in the Ryalan Givens series
The best books in the Ryalan Givens series are Pronto and Fire in the Hole. Pronto has been discussed previously. Fire in the Hole, which was first published in 2001, is the third book in the Ryalan Givens series. This book is set in Eastern Kentucky, where protagonist Ryalan Givens spent his formative years; Givens is mandated to interfere in an incident whereby a man has not only refused to remit his taxes but has also resolved to bring down a Cincinnati structure belonging to the Internal Revenue Service.

Other Book Series You May Like
Readers who found the Ryalan Givens series enjoyable also liked the following series of books. The first one is the Charlie Hardie series of books authored by Duane Swierczynski; this series features protagonist Charlie Hardie, a former law enforcer, who has a premonition that he and his family might be eliminated as it happened to his deceased partner. The second one is the Parker series penned by Richard Stark; this series features a career criminal called Parker who has a laundry list of enemies; he has been betrayed by his wife, his life is at risk, and he is being targeted by a murderous organization; but not even plastic surgery can ward off his criminal ways.

Another notable series is titled Hank Thompson and is written by Charlie Huston. This series revolves around protagonist Hank Thompson; Thompson is on the run, currently exiled in Mexico, after getting away with a huge sum of money which a Russian mobster is keen to get. Thompson also knows secrets which may augur bad for his life. So when a Russian emissary tracks him down and hints at his family members as collateral damage, Thompson realizes that that he can run but never hide.

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