cover image Rusty Puppy

Rusty Puppy

Joe Lansdale. Mulholland, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-0-316-31156-4

The murder of Jamar Elton, a young black man, propels Edgar-winner Lansdale’s dark, moving 12th novel featuring crime fighters Hap Collins and Leonard Pine (after 2016’s Honky Tonk Samurai). A witness, recidivist criminal Timpson Weed, claims to have seen three white police officers beat Elton to death near a project house in the East Texas community of Camp Rapture. Unfortunately, Weed soon ends up dead. Aided by a motley crew, including Hap’s daughter, Chance, and Reba, who regards herself as a 400-year-old midget vampire (but is actually a tough-talking adolescent girl from the projects), Hap and Leonard follow a trail that keeps leading them to an old abandoned mill outside town, where illegal dogfights and perhaps even more sinister activities are taking place. As always, Lansdale spins a wild, rollicking yarn, but behind all the mayhem is a heartfelt tale about friendship, brotherhood, loyalty, and family. Hap and Leonard are complicated, violent men, but they display a basic humanity and decency that carries this remarkable series along. [em]Seven-city author tour. Agent: Danny Baror, Baror International. (Feb.) [/em]