Thursday, April 3, 2014

Book Review: Hot in December by Joe R. Lansdale

Hot In December by Joe R. Lansdale

105 pages

Dark Regions Press

I was very excited to read this novella by a master writer Joe R. Lansdale. If you are not familiar with his work you should be. Not only is he a great story teller and a fantastic word smith, but he works in many genres from southern gothic mystery, horror and western to crime thrillers. Lansdale always has little throw away lines that make you laugh like Elmore Leonard did. Lansdale however has his own gritty and hilarious east Texas feel to most of his books.

This is a good time to get on board as new films based on his work are coming your way including The Bottoms written and directed by the duo behind the criminally under rated horror film Frailty and Cold in July starring Dexter’s Michael C. Hall.

I felt kinda stupid that it took me a few pages to get that Hot in December is a companion piece to Cold in July. You see the title should have done that for me, but I opened up the book and started reading without looking at the back, not even thinking about the title. It was a Lansdale book and that was all I needed to know. Oot into the plot I thought to myself this plot is so much like Cold in July. Duh.

Cold in July is a great short novel, and Hot in December is a equally quick and fun read. Lansdale establishes characters with skill, and builds the suspense almost from page 1. I knew some of the characters from the fantastic novel Leather Maiden, it was nice to see Booger and Cason again. Connections to the Lansdale-verse are all over this book. I think he could have written a much longer book and I would have been along for the complete ride. None the less 105 pages is a perfect quick read and Lansdale fills very page with tons of story value.

I loved it and think you will too.

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