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DanSchwent

Dantastic Book Reviews

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Vanilla Ride - Joe R. Lansdale It's been close to a decade since Joe Lansdale gave us another Hap and Leonard tale. Was it worth the wait? HELL YES! I gave it five stars, didn't I?

Hap and Leonard get talked into doing a favor for their friend Marvin. Marvin's granddaughter has been hanging with drug dealers and Hap and Leonard go to bring her back. Things go south for Hap and Leonard, as they always do, and soon the drug dealers are looking for payback. One shootout later and our boys are in the clink. The FBI offers them freedom in exchange for finding the son of a member of the Dixie Maffia and the three hundred thousand dollars he stole. That's when things really get bad...

Mrs. Lansdale's little boy hasn't lost a step. Hap and Leonard's banter is as fresh and dark as ever. The violence is stark and comes in heaping handfuls. While most of the antagonists seem to be there to take bullet holes, Vanilla Ride, the hitwoman the book is named after, is quite a character, a killer with a moral code. I wouldn't be surprised if Old Joe writes a solo adventure for her in the future. The crooked cops from No Enterprise should top anyone's scumbag list. Leonard Pine once again proves what a bad mother he is.

To sum up, if you're a fan of Hap and Leonard, snap this one up. It's the best one since the third or fourth book.