cover image Jane Goes North

Jane Goes North

Joe R. Lansdale. Subterranean, $40 (232p) ISBN 978-1-59606-938-1

When Jane Gardner, the jobless and broke 30-year-old protagonist of this humorous road novel from Edgar winner Lansdale (The Elephant of Surprise), resolves to travel from Texas to her snobbish sister’s wedding in New England, she answers a ride share ad posted by large, tough, crotchety Henrietta, who goes by the name Henry. Henry, who has one dead eye that wanders “as if drunk or drugged,” claims to be headed to Boston for an eye appointment and needs someone to be her chauffeur. With some reluctance, Jane obliges, and the mismatched pair set off on an unusual journey across America. Along the way, Jane and Henry battle disabled shoplifters, go on tour with a washed-up country singer, and get kidnapped by an octogenarian and her motley bunch of slavers. Outrageous wit, memorably quirky characters, and comical situations elevate the slight, somewhat ho-hum story, which works best as a gratifying tale of friendship. Fans of Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard crime novels won’t want to miss this one. Agent: Daniel Baror, Baror International. (Mar.)