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This is the book that is said to have really put Leonard on the map, and it immediately hooks the reader with a classic set-up of a young, dead prostitute whose death is ignored by everyone except for one guy. Leonard's dialogue was always spot on, conveying so much more about the characters than mere description ever could, and this book has the perfect example of this when a young girl insists that her name is pronounced "Ear-ess, like the ear, not eye-riss, like the eye." You understand her, but you're annoyed by her. She's human, but she's not sentimentalized. And that's what Leonard did so well, humanized his characters without sentimentalizing them. This is harder than it seems. Everything Leonard did was harder than it seemed. That's why he was the best.