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Jack Catcher's parents are dead--his mom died of sickness and his dad of a broken heart--and he has to get out of Oklahoma, where dust storms have killed everything green, hopeful, or alive. When former classmate Jane and her little brother Tony show up in his yard with plans to steal a dead neighbor's car and make a break for Texas, Jack doesn't need much convincing. But a run-in with one of the era's most notorious gangsters puts a crimp in Jane's plan, and soon the three kids are hitching the rails among hoboes, gangsters, and con men, racing to warn a carnival wrestler turned bank robber of the danger he faces and, in the process, find a new home for themselves. This road trip adventure from the legendary Joe R. Lansdale is a thrilling and colorful ride through Depression-era America.From the Hardcover edition.
The Great Depression, East Texas. The woods are thick, the rivers wild, the weather ripe with tornadoes, and the Crane family, like most families in that neck of the woods, are eking out a thin living. When young Harry Crane discovers a mutilated body bound to a tree with barbed wire in the river bottoms, the underbelly of East Texas is exposed. Whites fear a renegade Negro. Blacks fear a vengeful massacre, or, if the killer is white, that the law will let him slip through its fingers. Harry believes the murderer is the Goat Man, an East Texas monster of legend who lurks beneath the swing bridge on the Sabine River, like the Billy Goat Gruff. Harry and his sister have actually seen the Goat Man, or something much like him, in his nocturnal haunts. As the bodies mount up, an elderly black man is lynched, both blacks and whites are terrorised, and Harry's father - the local law - and grandmother investigate, searching for a killer who may be a lot closer than they think.
Sixteen of the author's short horror stories. His novella, "On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead People," the 1990 Bram Stoker Award winner, is included. 2 new stories are also included. Some British spellings.
Hap Collins and Leonard Pine find mucho trouble, this time in Mexico, when they come face to face with a nudist mobster, his seven-foot strong-arm, a octogenarian knife-touting fisherman, and, somehow, an armadillo. When Hap Collins saves the life of his employer's daughter, he is rewarded with a Caribbean Cruise, and he convinces his best friend Leonard Pine to come along. However, when the cruise sails on without them, stranding them in Playa del Carmen with nothing but their misfortune and Leonard's new ridiculous hat, the two quickly find themselves drawn into a vicious web of sordid violence. When they return to East Texas, they find that trouble has beaten them back, and when trouble's around it doesn't take long for Hap and Leonard to find it.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Hap Collins and Leonard Pine return in a red-hot, mayhem-fueled thriller to face a vampire cult, the Dixie Mafia, and the deadliest assassin they've ever encountered--Devil Red.When their friend Marvin asks Hap and Leonard to look into a cold-case double homicide, they're more than happy to play private investigators: they like trouble, and they especially like getting paid to find it. It turns out that both of the victims were set to inherit serious money, and one of them ran with a vampire cult. The more closely Hap and Leonard look over the crime-scene photos, the more they see, including the image of a red devil's head painted on a tree. A little research turns up a slew of murders with that same fiendish signature. And if that's not enough, Leonard has taken to wearing a deerstalker cap . . . Will this be the case that finally sends Hap over the edge?Full up with Lansdale's trademark--whip-smart dialogue, relentless pacing, and unorthodox-to-say-the-least characters--Devil Red is one rambunctious thrill ride by one hell of a writer.From the Hardcover edition.
Mark Twain meets classic Stephen King--a bold new direction for widely acclaimed Edgar Award winner Joe R. Lansdale.May Lynn was once a pretty girl who dreamed of becoming a Hollywood star. Now she's dead, her body dredged up from the Sabine River.Sue Ellen, May Lynn's strong-willed teenage friend, sets out to dig up May Lynn's body, burn it to ash, and take those ashes to Hollywood to spread around. If May Lynn can't become a star, then at least her ashes will end up in the land of her dreams.Along with her friends Terry and Jinx and her alcoholic mother, Sue Ellen steals a raft and heads downriver to carry May Lynn's remains to Hollywood.Only problem is, Sue Ellen has some stolen money that her enemies will do anything to get back. And what looks like a prime opportunity to escape from a worthless life will instead lead to disastrous consequences. In the end, Sue Ellen will learn a harsh lesson on just how hard growing up can really be.
The time is the summer of 1958, the place is Dewmont, Texas. For blissfully ignorant thirteen-year-old Stanley Mitchell, the end of innocence comes with his discovery of an old trove of passionate yet troubled love letters that lead him to a long-ago house fire and the tragic deaths of two very different young women. Stanley finds a guide and mentor in black, elderly Buster Lighthouse Smith, a retired Indian Reservation policeman who now runs the projector at the drive-in theater owned by Stanley's parents. Buster tutors Stanley on the finer points of Sherlock Holmes, the blues, and life's lost dreams. But not every buried thing stays dead. And in one terrifying night of rushing creek water and thundering rain, an arcane murderous force will rise from the past to threaten the boy -- and test the limits of Buster's strength and wisdom. In the end the old man teaches Stanley a lesson that will haunt him always.
A masterly new thriller from the Edgar Award-winning writer who has "a folklorist's eye for telling detail and a front-porch raconteur's sense of pace" (The New York Times Book Review). After a scandalous affair costs him his job in Houston, Cason Statler--Gulf War veteran and Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist--returns home to the small east Texas town of Camp Rapture. Cason is a wreck. He drinks too much, he's stalking his ex-girlfriend, and he's wallowing in envy of his successful older brother. To get back on his feet, he takes a job at the local paper, and when he stumbles across his predecessor's notes on a cold case murder file, he thinks he's found the thing that'll keep him out of trouble. No such luck. The further he digs into the case, the more certain he is that the unsolved crime is connected to a series of eerie, inexplicable events that have recently occurred in town. And he knows his suspicions are right on when he finds himself dragged into a deadly game of blackmail and murder that clearly has evil as its only goal. Leather Maidenis a brash amalgam of suspense, raw humor, and mystery that unfolds in the vividly rendered shadowy lowlands of eastern Texas. It's country noir as only Joe Lansdale can do it.
Since a mysterious childhood illness, Harry Wilkes has experienced horrific visions. Gruesome scenes emerge to replay themselves before his eyes. Triggered by simple sounds, these visions occur anywhere a tragic event has happened. Now in college, Harry feels haunted and turns to alcohol to dull his visionary senses. One night, he sees a fellow drunk easily best three muggers. In this man, Harry finds not only a friend that will help him kick the booze, but also a sensei who will teach him to master his unusual gift. Soon Harry's childhood crush, Kayla, comes and asks for help solving her father's murder. Unsure of how it will affect him, Harry finds the strength to confront the dark secrets of the past, only to unveil the horrors of the present. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Fifteen all-new stories by science fiction's top talents, collected by bestselling author George R. R. Martin and multiple-award winning editor Gardner Dozois Burroughs's A Princess of Mars. Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. Heinlein's Red Planet. These and so many more inspired generations of readers with a sense that science fiction's greatest wonders did not necessarily lie far in the future or light-years across the galaxy but were to be found right now on a nearby world tantalizingly similar to our own--a red planet that burned like an ember in our night sky . . . and in our imaginations. This new anthology of fifteen all-original science fiction stories, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, celebrates the Golden Age of Science Fiction, an era filled with tales of interplanetary colonization and derring-do. Before the advent of powerful telescopes and space probes, our solar system could be imagined as teeming with strange life-forms and ancient civilizations--by no means always friendly to the dominant species of Earth. And of all the planets orbiting that G-class star we call the Sun, none was so steeped in an aura of romantic decadence, thrilling mystery, and gung-ho adventure as Mars. Join such seminal contributors as Michael Moorcock, Mike Resnick, Joe R. Lansdale, S. M. Stirling, Mary Rosenblum, Ian McDonald, Liz Williams, James S. A. Corey, and others in this brilliant retro anthology that turns its back on the cold, all-but-airless Mars of the Mariner probes and instead embraces an older, more welcoming, more exotic Mars: a planet of ancient canals cutting through red deserts studded with the ruined cities of dying races. FEATURING ALL-NEW STORIES BY James S. A. Corey * Phyllis Eisenstein * Matthew Hughes * Joe R. Lansdale * David D. Levine * Ian McDonald * Michael Moorcock * Mike Resnick * Chris Roberson * Mary Rosenblum * Melinda Snodgrass * Allen M. Steele * S. M. Stirling * Howard Waldrop * Liz Williams And an Introduction by George R. R. Martin!From the Hardcover edition.
Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are in for an action-packed adventure when they cross paths with a towering Pentecostal preacher, a midget with a giant attitude, and a gang of bikers turned soldiers of fortune. Even though a midlife crisis just hit Hap Collins like a runaway pickup truck, he's still got his job, he knows his best friend, Leonard Pine, will always be there for him, and of course he's got his main squeeze, Brett Sawyer. Things hit a new low, however, when Brett's daughter, Tillie, who has been walking on the wrong side of the law suddenly stands in need of a rescue. It's won't be easy--it never is--but nothing is going to stop Hap and Leonard as they hit the road destined for Hootie Hoot, Oklahoma to shake things up. And with Hap and Leonard at the wheel this promises to be a wild ride.From the Trade Paperback edition.
He has been called "hilarious . . . refreshing . . . a terrifically gifted storyteller with a sharp country-boy wit" (Washington Post Book World), and praised for his "folklorist's eye for telling detail and [his] front-porch raconteur's sense of pace" (New York Times Book Review). Now, Joe R. Landsdale gives us a fast-moving, electrifying new novel: a murder mystery set in a steamy backwater of Depression-era East Texas. It begins with an explosion: Sunset Jones kills her husband with a bullet to the brain. Never mind that he was raping her. Pete Jones was constable of the small sawmill town of Camp Rapture ("Camp Rupture" to the local blacks), where no woman, least of all Pete's, refuses her husband what he wants. So most everyone is surprised and angry when, thanks to the unexpected understanding of her mother-in-law--three-quarter owner of the mill--Sunset is named the new constable. And they're even more surprised when she dares to take the job seriously: beginning an investigation into the murder of a woman and an unborn baby whose oil-drenched bodies are discovered buried on land belonging to the only black landowner in town. Yet no one is more surprised than Sunset herself when the murders lead her--through a labyrinth of greed, corruption, and unspeakable malice--not only to the shocking conclusion of the case, but to a well of inner strength she never knew she had. Landsdale brings the thick backwoods and swamps of East Texas vividly to life, and he paints a powerfully evocative picture of a time when Jim Crow and the Klan ruled virtually unopposed, when the oil boom was rolling into and over Texas, when any woman who didn't know her place was considered a threat and a target. In Sunset, he gives us a woman who defies all expectations, wrestling a different place for herself with spirit and spit, cunning and courage. And inSunset and Sawdusthe gives us a wildly energetic novel--galvanizing from first to last.
Love and vengeance at the dark dawn of the East Texas oil boom from Joe Lansdale, "a true American original" (Joe Hill, author of Heart-Shaped Box).Jack Parker thought he'd already seen his fair share of tragedy. His grandmother was killed in a farm accident when he was barely five years old. His parents have just succumbed to the smallpox epidemic sweeping turn-of-the-century East Texas--orphaning him and his younger sister, Lula.Then catastrophe strikes on the way to their uncle's farm, when a traveling group of bank-robbing bandits murder Jack's grandfather and kidnap his sister. With no elders left for miles, Jack must grow up fast and enlist a band of heroes the likes of which has never been seen if his sister stands any chance at survival. But the best he can come up with is a charismatic, bounty-hunting dwarf named Shorty, a grave-digging son of an ex-slave named Eustace, and a street-smart woman-for-hire named Jimmie Sue who's come into some very intimate knowledge about the bandits (and a few members of Jack's extended family to boot). In the throes of being civilized, East Texas is still a wild, feral place. Oil wells spurt liquid money from the ground. But as Jack's about to find out, blood and redemption rule supreme. In The Thicket, award-winning novelist Joe R. Lansdale lets loose like never before, in a rip-roaring adventure equal parts True Gritand Stand by Me--the perfect introduction to an acclaimed writer whose work has been called "as funny and frightening as anything that could have been dreamed up by the Brothers Grimm--or Mark Twain" (New York Times Book Review).
Florida Grange, Leonard's drop-dead gorgeous lawyer and Hap's former lover, has vanished in Klan-infested Grovetown while in pursuit of the real story behind the jailhouse death of a legendary bluesman's blackguard son. Has she been murdered too? Fearing the worst, Hap and Leonard set out to do the kind of investigating the good ole boy cops can't - or won't - do themselves.
In this Texas-sized thriller, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine--best friends, freelance troublemakers, and tough guys with good intentions--find themselves in the crosshairs of the Dixie Mafia. Hap is an East Texas smart mouth with a weakness for southern women. Leonard is a gay, black veteran pining for a lost love. They're not the makings of your typical dynamic duo, but never underestimate the power of a shared affinity for stirring up trouble and causing mayhem. When an old friend asks Leonard to rescue his daughter from an abusive, no-good drug dealer, he gladly agrees and, of course, invites Hap along for the fun. Even though the dealer may be lowly, he is on the bottom rung of the Dixie Mafia, and when Hap and Leonard come calling, the Mafia feels a little payback is in order. Cars crash, shotguns blast, and people die, but Hap and Leonard come out on top. Unfortunately for them, now they're facing not only jail time but also the legendary--and lethal--Vanilla Ride, who is still out to claim the price on their heads. Full of twists and turns, gunfire and gaffes, this hilarious, rip-roaring novel will have readers turning the pages faster than a Texas tornado.
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