Ed Gorman is the author of the new Bad Moon Rising. You can find him here.
Forgotten Books The Handle by Richard Stark
Patti Abbott, Savage Season, Joe R. Lansdale
This was the first of the Hap and Leonard books and I gather Lansdale didn't intend it to be a series until it proved so popular. And I can understand why. These two are just a match made in heaven even in this first installment. The dialogue is excellent, the setting winning, the atmosphere perfect, the plot--well serviceable because I think our interest in the sixties radicals might have faded in the years since its publication. They seem quaint, now don't they? Hardly any more relevant than the Algonquin Round Table or the Masons.
When Hap's former wife calls him for help, it leads to some bad sh*t for Hap and Leonard. She's got scruples, but not when it comes to using Hap. The book has not one but two femme fatales and Lansdale sure has some fun with both of them. And with the gang of buffoons they hangs out with. There is also a lot of violence, laughs and heart. It would have been a crying shame had the series ended here and it didn't.
I listened to this on audio and I have to say the reader Phil Gigante did a great job of pulling me into Hap's world. But I have yet to find a male that can do women's voices without having them seem creepy.
Steve Lewis/William Deeck