Raylan Givens Books

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Raylan Givens is the fictional lead in the Raylan Givens series of novels by Elmore Leonard, the American screenwriter and novelist. The first novel that Elmore published in the series featuring the lead character Givens was “Pronto”, which was published in 1993 to much popularity and critical acclaim.

Order of Raylan Givens Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Pronto ( By: Elmore Leonard) 1993 Description / Buy
2 Riding the Rap ( By: Elmore Leonard) 1995 Description / Buy
3 Fire in the Hole ( By: Elmore Leonard) 2001 Description / Buy
4 Raylan ( By: Elmore Leonard) 2011 Description / Buy
5 Raylan Goes to Detroit ( By: Peter Leonard) 2018 Description / Buy
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When we are first introduced to the character, he is a rangy and thin forty-year-old federal marshal who loves his cowboy hats. The Harlan County born Givens has exceptional intuition about people, particularly their criminal intentions. Even though he has the best intentions in desiring to resolve issues amicably, he almost always ends up shooting the criminals.

“Pronto” the first novel in the series is the story of Rylan Givens, who is tracking down Harry Arno, a bookmaker running from the mob and the feds. It is not long before the marshal put his powers to use and arrests Arno. However, the man tricks Rylan who lets him and go and soon after he flees to Italy, which holds a special place in his heart, as he has fond memories serving there during World War II.

Desperate to catch Arno, the feds indirectly collaborate with his mob boss who they believe can help apprehend him. Things go haywire when Jimmy Cap puts out a hit on Harry Arno for skimming his money. What follows is an exciting thriller full of subterfuge, wisecracks, interesting people, and gunplay in the classic tradition of one of the greatest mystery writers, that have won several awards over the years.

BEST Raylan Givens BOOKS:

Fire in the Hole: The third novel in the series is one of its most popular. Marshal Raylan Givens who was a featured lead in the first two in the series, “Riding the Rap” and “Pronto” returns to Eastern Kentucky, to a coal mining region where he grew up. Givens is suddenly thrown into action when a mail ordained minister named Boyd Crowder, voices his opposition to paying taxes by blowing up the Cincinnati office of the IRS. As it turns out the two men now facing up to each other have a begrudging respect leftover from their youthful days. The fact that Ava the criminal’s sister still has feelings for Raylan makes things even more complicated and intriguing.

Riding the Rap: The exciting second novel of the Raylan Gives series of novels, which sees the fugitives Harry Arno and Joyce make a comeback. Unlike the last time, Harry finds himself the kidnapped victim of a hustler and thug whose motives are unclear. As is usual with Leonard, the motivations of the criminals are revealed in installments, eventually showing just what kind of psychopaths Marshall Rylan is dealing with.

In this novel the bad guys count on the Reverend and psychic Dawn Navarro, an attractive and interesting accomplice that Rylan has to take down if he is to make any headway in the case. What makes Dawn such an intriguing character is that it is almost impossible to determine if he is a real psychic, a lucky guesser, the old-fashioned charlatan or a combination of all three. It is an engaging question to keep the reader flipping the pages right to the very end of the novel.

Raylan: The fourth novel in the series opens to a Harlan County that is sweltering under the heat of marijuana, after the closure of the Kentucky coalmines. Besides the marijuana has been the rise in human trafficking and body parts, which are some of the most lucrative illegal activities in the state. As such, when Coover and Dickie Crowe two of the most malicious of siblings branch out from dealing dope to the body business, U.S. Marshal Raylan knows he is facing the fight of his life trying to stop the cunning brothers. “Rylan” is a droll and dark page-turner full of suspense and sparkling dialogue that is the trademark of the master storyteller.


Most fans of the Rylan Givens series of novels also love the “Charlie Hardy” series of novels by Duane Swierczynski. Charlie Hardie is former Philadelphia police officer who sits high-end houses, while working undercover trying to unravel a dark conspiracy code named “The Accident People”.

Fans of the Rylan Gives series of novels also love the “Davis Way Crime Caper” series by Gretchen Archer. The lead in the series is Davis Way, who has to deal with a trail of dead bodies related to her casino job, while confronting a seemingly never-ending streak of terrible family relationships.

What Is The Next Book in The Raylan Givens Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Raylan Givens Series. The newest book is Raylan Goes to Detroit and was released on September, 18th 2018.


1 thought on “Raylan Givens”

  1. Some people love to read. I am one of these people. Other people, you have to trick into reading.

    That was the case of a friend of mine. Obsessed with TV, they were a big fan of the Justified series. When I let them know that the show was actually based on a famous Elmore Leonard character, they were skeptical at first. I took a chance and gifted “Fire in the Hole” to them for Secret Santa and the next thing you know, they were hooked.

    I wasn’t surprised as Raylan is a heck of a character in any medium and Leonard is a master of the craft.

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