This Hap and Leonard novel opens thusly: “I don’t think we ask for trouble, me and Leonard. It just finds us. It often starts casually, and then something comes loose and starts to rattle, like an unscrewed bolt on a carnival ride. No big thing at first, just a loose, rattling bolt, then the bolt slips completely free and flies out of place, the carnival ride groans and screeches, and it sags and tumbles into a messy mass of jagged parts and twisted metal and wads of bleeding human flesh. I’m starting this at the point in the carnival ride when the bolt has started to come loose.
That sets up the scene and the pace as well as anything could. What follows is a well-written and well-plotted novel as good as anything the reader will be expecting from this wonderful author, which is a tall order indeed. The book is filled with humor, and wonderful characters: Among others, a woman named Vanilla Ride; an “old gray-haired addict called Two-Toe George;” an accomplished scammer/p.i. named Tommy Jasons, a/k/a Jim Bob Luke, who “seemed like the biggest redneck that ever walked the earth until you spent time with him;” and a guy known only as “Weasel;” most of them highly accomplished in things illegal, many of whom are associated to some degree with the Dixie Mafia.
The writing is wonderfully funny, although readers should be warned that there is much salty language, and is distinctly non-p.c. Beyond that, it is a hugely enjoyable book. I must admit that when I got to the concluding pages, the overwhelming feeling was that the author’s next book, Rusty Puppy, would be published in February, and I am most anxious to read that one. As you should be as well!