Jackrabbit Smile
A Hap and Leonard Novel
Joe R. Lansdale
Mulholland Books 2018
256 pages
Joe Landsdale Website

Jackrabbit Smile is the latest novel by Joe R. Lansdale featuring the adventures of Hap and Leonard.
Tough and Tougher, Hap and Leonard are the best of friends. Different in almost every way, like night and day and black and white, they would die for each other. They work together as PIs, under the loose supervision of Hap’s lovely new wife, Brett.  Kindle Jackrabbit Smile (Hap and Leonard)

They go on alert when they are approached by a mother/son pair of white supremacists who are looking for Jackie, aka Jackrabbit; their daughter/sister who departed the family years before.

Jackie is brilliant, eccentric, and more than a bit “out there”. That she does not embrace her family’s philosophy about race relations is shown by the fact that she travels with and dates within a mixed crowd. Rumour has it that she had a baby by a black man, and that the poor infant did not survive.

Her whereabouts have not been known for a several months, so her family wants her found. Discovering information that is inconsistent with Mom’s story, Hap and Leonard must decide what is true, and unearth Jackie’s location, if indeed she is still alive. The dangerous mission takes them on an adventure that keeps getting deeper and darker with every step. It is clear that their nosing around is not appreciated. They rub elbows and exchange threats and gunfire with many on their path. Several end up dead.

Lansdale definitely has an entertaining way with words. His unique yet simple descriptions are most enjoyable, as is his dry humour. The Hap and Leonard novels have an interesting backwoodsie, simpler time feel to them, especially considering the characters’ manner of speaking. Hap and Leonard seem laid back, but they are as tough as nails, and always get the job done.

Although I enjoy Joe Lansdale novels, my interest in Jackrabbit Smile waxed and waned. I enjoyed the first part much more than the last. That being said, not without its surprises, the book is still a decent and easy read.

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