Act of Love by Joe R. Lansdale

By Joe R. Lansdale

Telling the tautly plotted tale of a contemporary Jack the Ripper's spree in Houston, Lansdale creates a strong blend of crime, police paintings, and social commentary--all with a watch for picture aspect. Act of affection, his first novel, is a collector's merchandise for Lansdale's previous enthusiasts and crucial analyzing for his new ones.

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Example text

A little less patient than before, Hanson said, "Start over. I've known your sorry ass all my life, Smokey. You ain't worth a damn and you know it, I know it, and anyone that's ever heard you run your mouth long as five minutes knows it. But I don't think you killed Bella. " "That's lieutenant, not captain. And no. You don't look good for it. " Smokey interrupted. Hanson shook his head. "I was assigned to this case, instant like. A phone call and Higgins says the Captain wants me on this one.

M. High on wine and ready to piss, looking for the darkness of a back alley to let it go, the black wino known only as Smokey found the first hacked body, and upon seeing it through wine-filmed eyes in the half-light of a bug-swarmed streetlamp, lost not only the wine in his stomach, but the remains of a sardine and cracker meal as well. At first he thought (wanted to think) he was seeing a mannequin surrounded by garbage. Garbage was a common sight and smell in Smokey's world, and for that matter, so was blood and sudden death.

Constant interruption, discomfort and aggravation. Not to mention ulcers, hemorrhoids and bunions. In spite of his mood, as always, Hanson was an efficient cop, if a bit on the rough side. He was street-wise and back alley mean. He was also surprisingly well-educated, most of it self- acquired. This was a trait that often surprised people. From the looks of him, he seemed like the type to spend his life turning over the big rock and bursting dirt with a shovel. Hanson had been brought up in The Fifth Ward, but as he was fond of telling his daughter, JoAnna, he had escaped and made of himself what he always wanted to be.

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