Monday, March 9, 2015

MUCHO MOJO by Joe R. Lansdale


*Book 2 in the Hap and Leonard series*

While the first great book in this series, Savage Season, focuses a lot on Hap Collins's backstory, this second installment focuses a bit more on Leonard's past and the town that he grew up in. Hap owes Leonard after getting him involved in the violent events of the first book so he agrees to accompany his buddy to the funeral of Leonard's estranged Uncle Chester. After the funeral, the boys are cleaning up Chester's old, run-down house and discover a skeleton and a stash of kiddie porn stuffed into a box under the floorboards. Leonard wants to learn the truth, so the two decide to try detective work on for size and get to the bottom of it all.

Once again, the two good ol' boys are a joy to read. I would read anything with these characters. At this point, if one of the subsequent books in the series turns out to be a 700-page tome about Hap and Leonard sitting in a boat the whole time trying to catch a catfish, I'd still read it in a heartbeat. Lansdale is a stunning writer. He has a real knack for finding the perfect combination of tone in his work (at least in the three books I've read so far). He's able to balance tender moments of real connection between friends with intriguing mystery, and with the perfect blend of humor. The books are downright funny sometimes without feeling forced. The humor seems to come naturally and the book never feels like it's trying to hard to be in the quirky humor crime genre. I think that's what I love about the characters Hap and Leonard, the balance and the ease of their characterization. They're funny while not trying to be and they're tough dudes while not having to be hard-boiled. I mean Hap actually seeks out non-alcoholic beer!

Anyway, this is another great Southern thriller by Joe R. Lansdale, who really is an awesome storyteller. I'm glad I still have a plethora of books written by him to choose from!

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