|Media type||Hard cover|
|Followed by||Riding the Rap|
Pronto is a crime novel written by Elmore Leonard. Leonard introduces three main characters and gets them moving against each other. Harry is constantly reminiscing about World War II. Tommy carries a picture of the old crime boss Frank Costello in his wallet. Raylan is a detective cowboy. In addition, the inclusion of the Ezra Pound stories add more to the understanding of Harry and his reasons for retiring to Rapallo, Italy.
Harry Arno, an over the hill Miami bookmaker quietly lives the good life with his girlfriend, Joyce Patton. Harry skimmed for years from his corpulent mob boss, Jimmy 'Cap' Capotorto and managed to salt away nearly a cool million in a Swiss bank account toward his retirement. Harry wants to retire and move to Rapallo, Italy, dreaming of living an idyllic existence with Joyce in a villa by the sea. In Rapallo he once briefly talked to the poet, Ezra Pound when Harry was in the army and Pound was incarcerated.
Now the Justice Department wants Jimmy Cap so they set up Harry to give information about Cap's activities by putting out the word about his skimming activities. The Justice Department figures that Jimmy Cap will try to have Harry killed, which will force Harry to ask for witness protection and turn evidence against Jimmy Cap. Jimmy sends Harry a message in the form of low-life hit man Earl Crowe but Harry is faster with a gun.
Harry skips his bond and the baby sitting U. S. Marshal and former Marine Raylan Givens for the second time, the first ending when Harry gave Raylan the slip in an Atlanta airport. Harry makes a nostalgic dash for Rapallo. Holed up in a picaresque Italian resort Harry is soon pursued by his ex-stripper girlfriend Joyce. Raylan follows because he seeks to redeem his previous failure to bring Harry in - for him this is a matter of honor. In addition, ‘the Zip’, another mob affiliate, wants to take over Harry's action, so he tells Cap that he'll take out Harry in Italy. If Harry ends up dead, the Zip gets to take over the bookie operation, which is going to mean a lot more money. The Zip who shows his macho stuff back in his homeland and endlessly humiliates ‘Stronzo’ Nicky Testa demonstrates his penchant for violence with a cold bloodied murder. Consequently, Harry has so many people following him that the small village of Rapallo becomes inundated with U. S. mobsters and federal agents. To the aid of Harry comes Robert Gee, a former French foreign legionnaire who helps him defend the villa against all the trigger-happy mobsters. During all of these events, the sixty-six-year-old Harry starts drinking seriously again which causes the situation to deteriorate even faster. Harry is in real danger of losing his life, as are several of the other players…
Characters in Pronto
- Harry Arno – 66-year-old bookie
- Joyce Patton – Harry's girlfriend and former topless dancer
- Robert Gee – Harry's Italian aide and former French foreign legionnairy
- Buck Torres – miami homicide detective
- Raylan Givens – (Deputy) U.S. Marshal and former Marine.
- Jimmy 'Cap' Capotorto – miami wiseguy
- Earl Crowe – miami hitman
- Tommy Bitoniti – Tommy Bucks – 'the Zip' – Detroit wiseguy and Jimmy Cap's main enforcer
- Nicky Testa – Jimmy Cap's assistant
- Fabrizio – Italian wiseguy
- Nicky – Italian wiseguy
- Benno – Italian wiseguy