Ordell Robbie and Louis Gara hit it off in prison, where they were both doing time for grand theft auto. Now that they're out, they're joining forces for one big score. The plan is to kidnap the wife of a wealthy Detroit developer and hold her for ransom. But they didn't figure the lowlife husband wouldn't want his lady back. So it's time for Plan B and the opportunity to make a real killing -- with the unlikely help of a beautiful, ticked-off housewife who's hungry for a large helping of sweet revenge.
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June 01, 2002
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Excerpt from The Switch by Elmore Leonard
MICKEY SAID, "I'll drive. I'd really like to."
Frank, holding the door open, said, "Get in the car, okay?" He wasn't going to say anything else. He handed her his golf trophy to hold, walked around and tipped the club parking boy a dollar. Mickey buckled the seat belt -- something she seldom did -- and lit a cigarette. Frank got in and turned on the radio.
They passed the Bloomfield Hills Police Department on Telegraph, south of Long Lake Road, going 85 miles an hour. Someone at the club that evening had said that anybody coming from Deep Run after a Saturday night party, anybody at all, would blow at least a twenty on the breathalizer. Frank had said his lawyer carried a couple $100 bills in his penny loafers at all times just to bail out friends. Frank, with his little-rascal grin, had never been stopped.
The white Mark V -- washed daily -- turned left onto Quarton Road. Mickey held her body rigid as the pale hood followed the headlight beams through the curves, at 70 miles an hour, conservatively straddling the double lines down the middle of the road, the Mark V swaying slightly, leaning -- WJZZ-FM pouring out of the rear speakers -- leaning harder, Mickey feeling herself pressed against the door and hearing the tires squeal and the bump-bump-bump jolting along the shoulder of the road, then through the red light at Lahser, up the hill and a mile to Covington, tires squealing again on the quick turn into the street, then coasting -- "See? What's the problem?" -- turning into the drive of the big brown and white Tudor home, grazing the high hedge and coming to an abrupt stop. In the paved turn-around area of the backyard, Frank twisted to look through the rear window, moved in reverse, maneuvered forward again, cranking the wheel, reverse again, gunning it, and slammed the Mark V into the garage, ripping the side molding from Mickey's Grand Prix as metal scraped against metal and white paint was laid in streaks over dark blue.
"Jesus Christ, you parked right in the middle of the garage!"
Mickey didn't say anything. Her shoulders were still hunched against the walled-in sound of scraping metal. After a moment she unbuckled and got out, leaving Frank's golf trophy on the seat. It was cold in Bo's room. The window air-conditioner hummed and groaned as though it might build to a breaking point. Mickey turned the dial to low and the hum became soothing. In the strip of light from the door she could see Bo, his coarse blond hair on the pillow, his bare shoulders. His body lay twisted, the sheet pulled tightly against the hard narrow curve of his fanny. Mickey's word. Part of a thought. Practically no fanny at all, running it off six hours a day on tennis courts and developing the farmer tan--she kidded him about it -- brown face and arms, white body. He didn't think it was funny. It was a tennis tan and the legs were brown, hard-muscled. He didn't think many things were funny. He would scowl and push his hair from his face. Now his face was slack, his mouth partly open. She kissed his cheek and could hear his breathing, her little boy who seemed to fill the twin bed. Bo would be fourteen in a month. "Going on thirty-five," she said to Frank. Only once. Frank had given her a tired but patient head-shake that was for women who didn't know about the concentration, the psyching up, the single-purpose will to win that a talented athlete must develop to become a champion. (Sometimes he sounded like a Wheaties commercial.)