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Monday, March 21, 2011

Recently read: "Devil Red" by Joe R. Lansdale

Devil Red

Devil Red

The newest (eighth) book about Hap and Leonard, we find Hap having what appears to be a crisis of conscience as he wonders if what he and Leonard do (they're now working as investigators for former policeman turned private detective Marvin Hanson, and the first job we see has them beating up two petty criminals for payback after the robbery of an elderly lady) is any better than they scum they do it too.  After investigating an older murder (with hints of a vampire cult), they start to realize that there may be a viscous assassin (who leaves a red devil head at the scene of the murders) operating around the country.  Finding one of their leads murdered (after he was questioned by the boys) leads to Hap having a nervous breakdown.

Following Vanilla Ride, I thought that this book might be falling back on the mass murderer/assassin plot too quickly, but the story really centers on the relationship between the boys (Leonard has taken to wearing a deerstalker hat, which drives Hap crazy).  They are getting older, and I wonder how long Lansdale can come up with plots where the two can handle the violence while staying semi realistic, but the book is as funny as ever.

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