Review: Savage Season

Two months back I read my first Hap and Leonard novel by Joe R. Lansdale, Mucho Mojo, mistakenly thinking at the time that it was the first book in the series.  Now I’ve fixed that mistake and tracked down the actual first book, Savage Season.  And I enjoyed it a great deal, but it turns out I didn’t miss anything by having skipped it originally.

In this adventure Hap and Leonard are lured into a get rich quick scheme by Hap’s ex-wife, who abandoned him while he was in prison for refusing to serve in ‘Nam.  Her latest conquest, who has just returned from his own stint in jail, has learned of a stash of money from a bank robbery hidden in the swamps, and Hap is just the person who can locate it.   

But to do so he must ally with a group of former 60’s radicals that force him to confront the idealism that left him after his time in prison.  The plot’s a bit slight, but it makes for an excellent introduction to Hap, although his co-star Leonard doesn’t get to do much of anything in this tale, which is really a shame.  At least the next book makes up for that.

Besides that, a bit forgettable, but it’s still very much a Joe Lansdale story so it just reads like he’s in the room telling the story directly to you.  The man can write, possibly on instinct alone.  He’s done better however.

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