By Ken Tucker
Updated January 27, 2012 at 05:00 AM EST
KENTUCKY CRIME Raylan Givens, Leonard's intuitive deputy U.S. marshal, returns in his new thriller

TV’s Justified is based on a couple of Leonard novels — and especially on a Leonard creation, deputy U.S. marshal Raylan Givens. Here Leonard seems to be having a ball using the tweaks that Justified actor Timothy Olyphant has made to Givens’ character, resulting in a kind of alternate-universe edition of the show, in which brothers Dickie and Coover Crowe get into the kidney-selling business along with a tough nurse named Layla. Raylan, a punchy mix of crime and Kentucky coal-mine sociology, is a helluva lot more than a TV tie-in, though: It’s one of Leonard’s best thrillers in years. A?