Archive for crime novels

VANILLA RIDE By Joe R. Lansdale – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2017 by stanleyriiks

No matter how many Lansdale books I read I’m always pleasantly surprised at how easy they are to read and get into. This is another book in the Hap and Leonard series of crime novels (soon to be on your small screens), and the luckless couple find themselves in so far over their heads they don’t know what to do when they help a friend out by kidnapping his granddaughter and beating up her drug-dealer boyfriend and flushing his stash down the toilet. Now the Dixie Mafia is on their tails and the FBI are blackmailing them, and something is a bit hinky…

East Texas sounds like a dangerous place and Lansdale brings it to life as only he can. You can virtually smell the burning rubbish in the backyard of the trailer. Hap and Leonard’s sense of humour is infectious, despite the dangers they face the pair just won’t keep quiet, but their devil-may-care attitude is what’s so endearing.

A simple plot with a healthy dose of twists and turns, a whole load of action and danger, and laughs aplenty with this crew.

Lansdale does it again, providing his own unique style in a captivating crime thriller.

CUBA LIBRE By Elmore Leonard – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2010 by stanleyriiks

Cuba, just before the Spanish/US war.

Ben Tyler’s friend asks him for some help taking some horses to Cuba to sell. Except Ben finds out that horses are not all they are selling, and the guns they are smuggling into the country are for the insurgents to fight the Spanish, and before he knows what’s happening, Ben is in prison for shooting a Spanish soldier who pulled a gun on him and being accused of espionage.

Factor in a wealthy American land-owner out to steal the horses, an evil Guardias, a beautiful woman, a police-force filled with insurgents, and an impending American-Spanish war and in a nutshell you have Cuba Libre.

This is an epic personal story of the struggles of Cuba, the beauty of the country and its people, and the inhumanity of its invaded and rulers. This is a side of Cuba not often seen, the pre-Castro era Cuba, but not the playground of the US.

Tyler’s struggles to survive in primitive conditions whilst in prison and later when hiding as he is tracked by a former slave-hunter, all the while falling in love with the beautiful Amelia, is expertly played out by Leonard. This book shows that Leonard is a splendid writer, with a talent far beyond his crime-novels.

Hot, dusty, and beautiful, Cuba Libre is a sentiment and an experience, expertly captured by a great fiction writer.