A Bone Dead Sadness
By Joe R. Lansdale
Publisher: Gere Donovan Press
Pub. Dale: August 10, 2014
Rating: 3 & 1/2/ out of 5 stars
A Bone Dead Sadness (great title!) also seems a little retro. While it is set in Lansdale's usual contemporary East Texas setting, it feels more like a traditional gumshoe story. Hansen is smart and tough and has more than a little Sam Spade in him. Hanson is surely not unknown to Lansdale aficionados, being a regular in the Hap and Leonard series and a primary character in Act of Love. Yet here he is front and center with a P.I.'s keen observational skills and raw nerve. A Bone Dead Sadness may feel like a typical gumshoe novella but it is a very fine one. "Too short" is a legitimate complaint for the Lansdale fan but not necessarily fair since the author sets out to write a certain story and does it well. No frills, no fat, all lean. If my rating seems a little low, it is based on a thorough knowledge of the heights Lansdale can take a reader. For the reader new to the writer's world of suspense, this would be a fine starting point.