Joe R. Lansdale,
Dead Aim
(Subterranean Press, 2013)

It all seems easy at first, when Hap and Leonard are given the job of protecting the nice lady whose jealous soon-to-be ex-husband has been lurking about and pummeling her latest beau.

But, while these two recurring characters from Joe Lansdale's world are pretty handy with a gun -- or, when the need arises, an axe handle named Agnes -- they're getting into a situation a little deeper than they're expecting.

The book is short, at just over a hundred pages, but Lansdale packs it full with looming and threatening men, gambling debts, enforcers, lawyers, fast food, black cars, romance, sex, vanilla cookies, bullets, brains, insurance schemes, quick draws and women in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There's also plenty of dialogue -- and the occasional inner monologue -- that wrings the richness from Lansdale's Texas tongue; while not always laugh-out-loud funny, the manner our two heroes have of speaking will make you smile and generally feel good about the way good writers have with words.

book review by
Tom Knapp

4 May 2013

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