Bad Chili (1997)

 5 (2 RATINGS)
ISBN: 0307455505
ISBN-13: 9780307455505
Published: 1997
Pages: 304
Publisher: Vintage
Find at: Amazon | Others


Hap Collins is in a LaBorde, Texas, hospital recuperating from an attack by a rabid squirrel and wondering why his best friend, Leonard Pine, hasn't been by to visit. Turns out that Leonard was upset enough about his boyfriend Raul leaving him for another guy that he went down to the biker bar this guy hangs out at and beats him with a broom handle. When the biker turns up dead later that night, it doesn't take long to guess who the primary suspect is--especially with Leonard nowhere to be found. After Hap checks himself out of the hospital and finds Leonard hiding in his bed, the fourth novel in this series kicks into high gear--or what passes for high gear in Lansdale's deceptively laid-back storytelling style. Pretty soon, they've stumbled onto a conspiracy involving gaybasher pornography, and Leonard's ready to exact some vigilante justice over Hap's protestations: "There's few people think a roach exterminator is a murderer. I'm not talkin' about beatin' up and rapin' innocent people who are lookin' for love in all the wrong places. I'm talkin' about stampin' out a plague, man.... I've heard you rave about the horrors of the child sex trade in Thailand, the poor, the plight of blacks and women and gays, and all the stuff you gripe about, but me, I'm gonna do somethin'." Add in a budding romance between Hap and Brett Sawyer, the nurse who tells him on their first date about how she set her abusive husband on fire--which impresses him much more than it scares him--and you've got the makings of another classic Lansdale thriller. --Ron Hogan -- From Review

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