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by Joe R. Lansdale
Mysterious Press, September 2001
319 pages
ISBN: 0892967285

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are gainfully employed for once, as security guards at the chicken plant. As they are about to leave the plant one night, Hap saves a young girl from certain death at the hands of a psychopath. He receives a reward for his heroic act and decides that it's about time that he and Leonard took a holiday. Surely they can't get into any trouble on a cruise?

This is Hap and Leonard we're talking about. They can, and do, get into trouble. Lots of it. The cruise was probably a mistake -- what with the boredom, the seasickness and the shuffleboard. They're quite relieved to get off the ship in beautiful Mexico, but then things go from bad to how-much-worse-can-it-possibly-get? This is most certainly not a restful vacation.

As usual, Joe Lansdale entertains and thrills with Hap and Leonard's latest outing. It's wild, bawdy, crude and violent. It's also funny, touching and sad. This is a wonderful series with utterly believable characters who leap out at you from the page. Even the smallest bit player is well drawn and realistic.

The relationship between Hap and Leonard is one of my favourites in crime fiction - you couldn't ask for better people on your side in a crisis. Of course, knowing Hap and Leonard, they're probably the cause of the crisis in the first place.

The plot is a Boys-Own tale of bad guys and good guys, guns and gore, beautiful girls and ugly villains -- a rollicking adventure story told at a cracking pace. If you like your crime fiction down and dirty, with great dollops of humour, then this one's for you.

Reviewed by Donna Moore, July 2002

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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