Archive for texas

CIMARRON ROSE By James Lee Burke – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2010 by stanleyriiks

Lucas Smothers is arrested for murder, except he was unconscious at the time. He’s put in prison between two hardened criminals, both murderers, one of whom brags about how he killed an old woman, the other escapes killing a guard in the process.

Billy Bob Holland is a pain in the ass according to most of the people who know him, that’s what makes him a great lawyer, and when Vernon, Lucas’ father, asks him for help, Billy Bob can’t refuse. You see, Lucas is in all likelihood his own son.

Add into this a whole lot of Texas mess, a massive back-story, DEA, outback mob, rich kids gone bad, and shake in some other family dramas and you have a Southern American crime novel the likes of which you’ll be familiar with if you’d read any of Burke’s novels before. Burke has a unique voice that’s compelling, his stories are riveting and his characters have such a back-story it’s hard to believe he just thought them up.

American crime thrillers don’t get much better than this.

Rumble Tumble By Joe R. Lansdale – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2010 by stanleyriiks

Hap Collins and his buddy Leonard are always getting themselves into some mischief. Rumble Tumble sees Hap and Leonard caught up in a whole hell of a mess, when Brett, Hap’s girlfriend, finds out her daughter is being used a as whore in a brothel in Oklahoma. They are sold this information by a red-haired midget called Red, and a huge muscle-bound moron named Wilbur.

When Hap ponders on this predicament, Leonard offers to help out, and the three set off towards Oklahoma to help free Brett’s daughter, encountering a whole slew of trouble on their way, including bikers, gangsters, preachers and whores.

Lansdale has a unique style that sets his East Texans apart from your normal crime fiction heroes. Hap and Leonard don’t want to be heroes, they get themselves into troublesome situations and they just want to get out with their lives, shooting people’s feet off, pistol-whipping midgets, and all sorts.

Picking up a Hap Collins book you know how it’s going to go, Hap and Leonard will argue like The Odd Couple, but they’ve always got each others’ back, and you know they’re going to get themselves into some trouble, whether intentionally or not. It’s the journey you take with these guys that makes the books, you know they’re not whiter than whiter, they cause much of the trouble themselves and have to break some rules to do what they gotta do, but you can’t help admiring both of them for sticking their necks out and trying to do the right thing. Especially when it’s not the easiest path to take.

Lansdale has produced another fine novel in this continuing series, and Hap and Leonard’s adventures are not like any other crime novel you will ever read. Stylish, funny, energetic and poignant, Lansdale continues produce the goods, and I for one will be following him whatever direction he decides to go in.