Rumble Tumble (1998)

 5 (2 RATINGS)
ISBN: 0307455513
ISBN-13: 9780307455512
Published: 1998
Pages: 256
Publisher: Vintage
Find at: Amazon | Others


The fifth installment in Joe R. Lansdale's low-key East Texas thrillers finds Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, despite their best efforts, once again in the midst of grim violence. It begins when Hap volunteers to help his girlfriend, Brett, retrieve her daughter from a life of prostitution just outside Oklahoma City. And where Hap goes, Leonard follows, as always with an eye on the aspects of the situation that Hap would rather not deal with: "I know you don't like the gun talk, Hap, but you know as well as I do, at some point those people up there, they're who I think they are, they're going to point guns at us. And the guns are gonna be loaded, and when they pull the trigger our heads are gonna go away. Unless we shoot first or intimidate their asses into not shooting at all." Mayhem ensues, to be sure, but the story in Rumble Tumble is not as important as the ongoing relationship between Hap, who still wishes that he could empathize the world's troubles away, and Leonard, who knows better. As with the series of Westerns directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Randolph Scott, theirs is a world where "good" and "bad" matter less than whose business you're taking care of. People on both sides are willing to engage in plain conversations about how to define ethics under those circumstances, in dialogue that fulfills Lansdale's high standards of excellence. Whether you've been on board for the full ride with Hap and Leonard or are meeting them for the first time, Rumble Tumble will entertain and subtly challenge you. The other adventures of Hap Collins and Leonard Pine include Mucho Mojo, The Two-Bear Mambo, Savage Season, and Bad Chili. --Ron Hogan -- From Review

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