Sunday, June 26, 2016

Honky Tonk Samurai

Honky Tonk SamuraiHonky Tonk Samurai by Joe R. Lansdale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When an old lady shoots some video of Leonard kicking the shit out of a dog abuser, she tasks Hap & Leonard with finding her missing grand daughter in exchange for not informing the authorities. Hap & Leonard are soon up to their eyebrows in a stew of blackmail, prostitutes, and a testicle taking killer called The Canceler...

The dynamic duo really stepped in a steaming pile in this one. Brett, Hap's girlfriend, bought Marvin Hanson's detective agency and the boys are now legit private eyes. Their first licensed case might be their last. Honky Tonk Samurai brings a few of the Hap & Leonard supporting cast members together like the A-Team. Jim Bob Luke, Cason, and Vanilla Ride all have pretty big roles as Hap and Leonard try to unravel the case. Booger, the newbie, was much more interesting than I originally thought. Complicating matters are a young woman who may be connected to Hap, bikers, the Dixie Mafia, the Barbecue King, and The Canceler.

This story is vintage Lansdale. The jokes are hilarious, the writing is crisp, and the violence is gore-soaked. Since it's Hap and Leonard we're talking about, I knew asses would be kicked and shots would be fired but the climax was even more than I expected.

Honky Tonk Samurai is much beefier than the previous two H&L outings but Lansdale's latest tale is balls to the wall for much of its 350 pages. I lost track of all the quotable lines I meant to remember in the mad rush to the end.

While the climax was great, one of the twists nearly had me shitting myself. One of my few complaints with the series is that all the wisecracking makes you forget lives are at stake. No more! The book left so many unanswered questions that I hope the next Hap & Leonard book is already at the press.

Four out of five stars. If you can handle 350 pages of pure Mojo, get it now!

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