Devil Red

Joe R. Lansdale, Author
Joe R. Lansdale, Knopf, $24.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-307-27098-6
Reviewed on: 01/17/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Open Ebook - 168 pages - 978-0-307-59535-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-02713-8
Paperback - 205 pages - 978-0-307-45546-8
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In Lansdale's rollicking eighth Hap and Leonard novel (after Vanilla Ride), the East Texas crime-fighting duo, Hap Collins (white and straight) and his partner, Leonard Pine (black and gay), look into a two-year-old unsolved murder. They step into the usual hornet's nest of troubles when they spot a devil's head scrawled in blood in crime-scene photos. It's the tag of a merciless mass murderer who has tallied numerous hits across the country, and as their investigation broadens, the pair discovers that Devil Red­­—who could be one of the countless criminals they've cheesed off in previous capers—is now hot on their trails. Lansdale delivers his patented blend of hard-boiled mayhem and laconic humor, leavened with reflections on mortality, morality, sex, and brotherhood. There's enough seriousness to make this novel stand far apart from run-of-the-mill thrillers—and enough comedy to have readers laughing through the blood spatters. (Mar.)
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