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Maximum Bob by Elmore Leonard
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Maximum Bob (1991)

by Elmore Leonard

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Maximum Bob is the nickname given to Judge Bob Gibbs (although he is called “Big” throughout the book), who is well-known for handing out maximum sentences for even the most minor crimes. Dale Crowe Junior had the misfortune to draw Maximum Bob, and gets five years. He also appears to threaten the judge at the end of his sentencing. His probation officer, Kathy Baker, has her hands full, trying to fending off the amorous advances of Big, keeping Dale in line, and dealing with Dale’s uncle Elvin, a convict on probation himself. Things get complicated when an attempt is made on the Judge’s life. The list of suspects is long, and Kathy has many of them among her parolees.

Overall, the story is fun, a little silly at times, even slightly sinister, yet it never quite comes together in a cohesive unit. Part of it might be an out-of-place supernatural element that is underdeveloped, and probably not even needed. Another problem might be that Big never really comes into focus; there’s something that’s just slightly off with his character. When you weave together a twisting, turning plot, everything has to be just right or it collapses. This book never completely fell apart, but it was definitely unraveling around the edges.

It’s a good read. Just don’t set your expectations get too high going in. ( )
  ssimon2000 | May 31, 2016 |
Maximum Bob is a Florida judge so named for handing out the Maximum penalty to convicts. Bob is at odds with his air-headed new age wife, who happens to believe she is a channel for the spirit of a lost little girl.

Seeking to rid himself of his wife, Bob hires two thugs to capture the biggest meanest gator of the swamp and deposit it in his back yard, thinking it will eat his wife and thus rid himself of her blathering once and for all. What Bob does not count on is the gator attacking his wife's dog rather than her...... So begins a riotous tale of misadventure and justice as only can be found in Florida.

Elmore Leonard has a wicked sense of humor and this is one more of his well written offerings. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Prob. officer + convicts, tough sentencing judge - alligator in porch

Florida Judge Maximum Bob Gibbs has thrown the book at so many people that when bullets start to fly it begins to look like on of them may throw it back at him.
  christinejoseph | Dec 26, 2015 |
Probation officer, Kathy Baker, has one of her clients up before Judge Bob Gibbs. The judge, known as Maximum Bob for his severe sentencing hits on her. He claims his wife who is a former Weeki Wachee Florida mermaid is crazy and is leaving him. It seems the judge has pushed her out by having an alligator put on the lawn which frightens her because of an earlier experience with one while performing as a mermaid.

Kathy is the heroine and is more detective than probation officer. When it appears that someone has taken some shots at the judge, she suspects that he wasn't the target and is soon immersed in a strange case inhabited with bizarre characters such as the drug addicted doctor and his weird Hispanic house boy not to mention the redneck Elvin Crowe who soon after leaving prison, is planning on several murders including Judge Gibbs and the doctor. A well constructed Leonard novel. ( )
  lamour | Oct 13, 2015 |
Definitely gritty, full of quirky characters, & some real world issues that the system faces. Excellent heroine, too. As usual, I could really feel the area; Florida heat, gators, & dirty streets. Not Leonard's best work, but a fun read. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
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For the Honorable Marvin
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Dale Crowe Junior told Kathy Baker, his probation officer, he didn't see where he had done anything wrong.
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Book description
Judge Bob Gibb, in Palm Beach County, Florida is an outrageous juror with many enemies. So when a mammoth alligator ends up in his house, it is not a total surprise. His wife, a former mermaid faced a gator before during her act and is herself a vehicle for a 12 year old 19th century Southern slave. Probation officer Kathy Baker attracts the judges attention, and while keeping track of other paroled convicts, begins to unravel Maximum Bob's plot to be rid of his quirky wife.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060084081, Mass Market Paperback)

Hard-ass Palm Beach County judge Bob Isom Gibbs enjoys sending even petty offenders away to do hard time -- which has made the list of miscreants who want him dead longer than a fully grown Florida gator's tail. And a good number of his illwishers are probation officer Kathy Baker's clients, including young Dale Crowe and his psycho uncle Elvin. Now, Kathy's got an even more daunting task than keeping BIG's horny hands off her: keeping "Maximum Bob" alive. Because Gibbs's many enemies seem to be willing to go to any lengths -- be it death by amphibian or some more tried-and-true method -- to permanently end the career of an oversexed, racist jurist who's more interested in scoring than in saving his own red neck.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:19 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Kathy Baker, a young probation officer, finds herself caught in the middle when someone in Palm Beach County, Florida, threatens the life of bigoted redneck judge "Maximum Bob" Briggs.

» see all 3 descriptions

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