Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dead Aim -- Joe R. Lansdale

Those who have kept up with Joe Lansdale's Hap and Leonard series over the years might be forgiven it they glanced at the cover of this novella and thought that we might be flashing back to "Hap and Leonard: the Teen Years."  Not to worry.  The guys are the same ones we've come to know and love.  Leonard is still jonesing for vanilla wafers and that tightwad Hap is hiding them from him.  So all is well.

Hap has come to a kind of peace with the fact that he's never going to get his college degree and teach school and that he's already found his life's occupation, which is being whatever it is that he is, a sometime bodyguard, investigator, and even now and then a killer.  He's good at the work, and so is Leonard, though when it comes to detecting, Leonard will be the first to tell you he's a lot better at that than Hap.  Even Hap will admit it when it's to his advantage.  Hap discovers a new skill of his own in this story, but you'll have to read it to find out what it is.

This time the guys are hired to protect a very attractive woman from her soon-to-be-ex-husband.  Seems simple enough, but as Hap points out, he never bothers telling us about the simple cases.  Soon enough things have gone south, with the husband being murdered and Hap holding the bag.  That's all straightened out, and the job is officially over.  But for Hap and Leonard, who don't like to be messed with, it's just starting, and the twists and turns are only beginning.

Lots of snappy patter, some laughs, some serious thoughts about life and love, and a tricky plot.  Plus it's Lansdale, so you know you can't go wrong.  Check it out.

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