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Rusty Puppy
Cover of Rusty Puppy
Rusty Puppy
Hap Collins and Leonard Pine Series, Book 12
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Hap and Leonard investigate a racially motivated murder that threatens to tear apart their East Texas town.


While Hap, a former 60s activist and self-proclaimed white trash rebel, is recovering from a life-threatening stab wound, Louise Elton comes into Hap and Leonard's PI office to tell him that the police have killed her son, Jamar.


Months earlier, a bully cop pulled over and sexually harassed Jamar's sister, Charm. The officer followed Charm over the course of the next couple of months, leading Jamar to videotape and take notes on the cop and his partner. The next thing Louise hears, Jamar got in a fight and is killed in the projects by local hoods. It doesn't add up: he was a straight A student, destined for better things, until he began to ask too many questions about the racist police force.


Leonard, a tough black gay Vietnam vet and Republican, joins Hap in the investigation, and they stumble upon the racial divides that have shaped their Eastern Texas town. But if anyone can navigate these pitfalls and bring the killers to justice, it's Hap and Leonard.


Filled with Lansdale's trademark whip-smart dialogue, colorful characters, and relentless pacing, Rusty Puppy is Joe Lansdale at his page-turning best.

Hap and Leonard investigate a racially motivated murder that threatens to tear apart their East Texas town.


While Hap, a former 60s activist and self-proclaimed white trash rebel, is recovering from a life-threatening stab wound, Louise Elton comes into Hap and Leonard's PI office to tell him that the police have killed her son, Jamar.


Months earlier, a bully cop pulled over and sexually harassed Jamar's sister, Charm. The officer followed Charm over the course of the next couple of months, leading Jamar to videotape and take notes on the cop and his partner. The next thing Louise hears, Jamar got in a fight and is killed in the projects by local hoods. It doesn't add up: he was a straight A student, destined for better things, until he began to ask too many questions about the racist police force.


Leonard, a tough black gay Vietnam vet and Republican, joins Hap in the investigation, and they stumble upon the racial divides that have shaped their Eastern Texas town. But if anyone can navigate these pitfalls and bring the killers to justice, it's Hap and Leonard.


Filled with Lansdale's trademark whip-smart dialogue, colorful characters, and relentless pacing, Rusty Puppy is Joe Lansdale at his page-turning best.

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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 19, 2016
    The murder of Jamar Elton, a young black man, propels Edgar-winner Lansdale’s dark, moving 12th novel featuring crime fighters Hap Collins and Leonard Pine (after 2016’s Honky Tonk Samurai). A witness, recidivist criminal Timpson Weed, claims to have seen three white police officers beat Elton to death near a project house in the East Texas community of Camp Rapture. Unfortunately, Weed soon ends up dead. Aided by a motley crew, including Hap’s daughter, Chance, and Reba, who regards herself as a 400-year-old midget vampire (but is actually a tough-talking adolescent girl from the projects), Hap and Leonard follow a trail that keeps leading them to an old abandoned mill outside town, where illegal dogfights and perhaps even more sinister activities are taking place. As always, Lansdale spins a wild, rollicking yarn, but behind all the mayhem is a heartfelt tale about friendship, brotherhood, loyalty, and family. Hap and Leonard are complicated, violent men, but they display a basic humanity and decency that carries this remarkable series along. Seven-city author tour. Agent: Danny Baror, Baror International.

  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2016
    A woman's plea to find her son's murderer sets the stage for the latest Hap and Leonard mystery.When an older black woman engages Hap and Leonard to find out who murdered her son, her plea for them to take her case ends with a bombshell: she believes that the local police are the killers. Not surprisingly, Hap and Leonard soon run afoul of the corrupt police ruling over a scruffy Texas town. But considering the two have a talent for stirring up trouble, they also incur the enmity of a group of bad-news project kids, some local drug dealers, the operators of an illegal fight club, a corrupt lawyer, and generally everyone they run into. The best of the supporting characters is named Reba, a young black girl whom Leonard refers to as a vampire midget and whose dialogue is a consistently delightful work of foulmouthed art. (Imagine Wanda Sykes in Our Gang as directed and written by Quentin Tarantino.) The pleasure of any Hap and Leonard mystery is the yin-yang of the two heroes: white/black, straight/gay, liberal/conservative, easygoing/hair-trigger temper. Without making any brotherhood speeches, the books are rough-hewn fables of tolerance in action. Part of the reason it all goes down without any kind of "Kumbaya" ickiness is that Lansdale (Honky Tonk Samurai, 2016, etc.) writes such good smart-ass repartee. He also, though, in book after book, reaches a point where he takes the violence too far and breaks faith with the reader (it was a problem in the first season of the Hap and Leonard TV series as well), including here a rape dealt out to a character we've become fond of and a final brutal fistfight that goes on for too long. Minor blemishes aside, this puppy tells a waggly tale the reader is happy to follow down the roughest paths.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Rusty Puppy
Rusty Puppy
Hap Collins and Leonard Pine Series, Book 12
Joe R. Lansdale
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