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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.

DEVIL RED By Joe R. Lansdale – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2015 by stanleyriiks

Although the Hap and Leonard series contains pretty much stand-alone novels, I came to this one having missed at least one book. The book I missed was Vanilla Ride, and unfortunately that book is quite heavily referenced in this one. It gives the backstory of Hap and Leonard’s meeting with the assassin Vanilla, who appears in this book. That was a little annoying, but reading a series out of sequence that kind of thing is bound to happen.

So, if you’re coming to this book never having read a Hap and Leonard story stop right now. Go back to the bookshop, or amazon, or wherever you got the book and buy The Bottoms, that’s Hap and Leonards first adventure and it’s one of Lansdale’s best novels. Which, for a writer of Lansdale’s immense talent, says a lot.

Hap and Leonard, a couple of middle-aged men who work for a local private detective, find themselves looking into a murder from some years ago. As they question and follow the clues more murders start to appear, and a mysterious red devil symbol is drawn at the crime scenes.

But as they get closer to this serial killer their own lives become endangered…

Landsale writes with a unique style, and the short, sharp dialogue moves the story along as a nice fast pace. The atmosphere and characters are rich and powerful, his action set-pieces roll along swiftly, and you don’t even have time to pause for breathe.

This is East Texas crime action as its very best. Lansdale is on form, and the Hap and Leonard novels never fail to entertain or impress.