September 1, 2008

Leather Maiden, Joe R. Lansdale

Leather Maiden the new thriller from Landsdale, reminded me of Cormac McCarthy's writing. Believe me when I say, that's high praise from me. It's a aggressive mix of suspense, raw humor, and mystery that unfolds in the vividly rendered shadowy lowlands of eastern Texas. It’s noir at it's best; full of salty humor, brisk plotting and appealingly off-key characters who move through a world that's at one moment folksy and the next macabre. With its mysterious disappearances, abandoned houses, midnight trysts, and hidden culverts, Lansdale's latest is a contemporary Hardy Boys story on crank, read to best advantage late at night under the covers, with the aid of a flashlight.

This is the first time I've read Landsdale, and now I understand why he's won all of his awards. He has received the British Fantasy Award, the American Mystery Award, the Edgar Award, the Grinzane Cavour Prize for literature, and seven Bram Stoker Awards.

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