Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Hyenas by Joe R. Lansdale

(2011: novella. Tenth book in the Hap and Leonard series)

From the back cover:

". . . The story begins with a barroom brawl that is both brutal and oddly comic. The ensuing drama encompasses abduction, betrayal, robbery, and murder, ending with a lethal confrontation in an East Texas pasture. Along the way, readers are treated to moments of raucous, casually profane humor and to scenes of vivid, crisply described violence, all related in that unmistakable Lansdale voice."


Hyenas is a good, succinct read that brings Hap Collins and Leonard Pine back together in a familiar but sped-up arc of violence and revenge. When a former bar fight opponent (Kelly Smith) hires them to get his dumbass brother (Donnie) away from criminals, it of course leads to the usual and entertaining reprisals many readers have come to expect from this series.

An additional story, "The Boy Who Became Invisible", is told from a first-person point of view by Hap, looking back on an unfortunate childhood friend (Jesse) whose hard life leads to some brutal choices. The interaction between Hap and Jesse provide an effective heart-punch to this timely, you-can-guess-where-this-is-going short story.

Followed by Dead Aim.

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