Monday, May 16, 2011

Joe R. Lansdale: Devil Red

It's been a while, and I'm still looking for guest reviewers/bloggers! If you have a favorite novel you'd like to review or just write about, send me an email or message on Facebook. If you're a gothic romance writer or gothic novelist, let's set up an interview or a guest post. :)

Now, on to the review of Joe R. Lansdale's Devil Red.

Let me begin by saying I love Hap and Leonard. I feel like I know them and can picture them both in my mind easily, though I've never met a guy quite like Leonard. Hap-- actually, I've probably met a few since I'm from Alabama, and these are good ole Texas boys.

With that said, I have a feeling this series is reaching its end. The first 3/4 of the novel was bland. Hap and Leonard have been hired to find the killer who marks his victims with a red devil. The other novels in the series, Mucho Mojo, for example made me laugh so hard I thought I would die. This one had a few laughs, but it was lacking in those as well as snappy dialogue. The girlfriend, Brett, is bland. I miss Florida Grange, and the whole thing seemed to coast for a long time. Hap's angst over killing folks felt contrived and drawn out where it had felt visceral in past novels.

Then suddenly, bam! There is the climax of the novel. It came as a surprise and felt uneven since things had been very flat line to that point. I teared up a bit in that section, and I was glad to see the resolution, but I didn't feel the suspense I usually do in these novels or the catharsis. I knew what was going to happen, and I thought "meh." Some of these Hap and Leonard novels have left me in tears, feeling woebegone and in existential crisis.

In short, this one lacks the magic of the series. I'm thinking perhaps it's near the end. It's been a good run if so. Have you read it? What do you think?

I look forward to future novels by Lansdale. Maybe it's just time for another series or some good stand alones.

I give Devil Red 3 stars. It's good enough to read, but it's not the best in the series.

Rating: *** Stars


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