Book Review: THE TWO-BEAR MAMBO by Joe R. Lansdale

2021 Book Reviews Crime Noir Dark Fiction Joe R. Lansdale The Big Hap and Leonard Read Along The Two-Bear Mambo

 

THE TWO-BEAR MAMBO by Joe R. Lansdale

 

Book three, The Two-Bear Mambo in the Hap & Leonard series, does not fuck around. This rough & tumble, country noir is filled to the brim with crude sexual inneuendos, obscene racism, and Hap & Leonard once again, fighting their demons in the devil’s lair.
And it’s brilliant.
The evolution of this series is actually blowing my mind. Savage Season works well as an introduction because it bends the reader’s affections toward the duo. It’s impossible not to fall in love with these guys. The second book, Mucho-Mojo, takes a deeper dive into the dynamic of Hap & Leonard’s relationship and what makes these two tick. It asks the reader to buy-in,
Are you invested? Are all your chips on the table?
The reader answers, YES.
Book three throws down a challenge. Hap is going to set fire to a crack house nextdoor to him on New Year’s Day right there in the first couple of pages. To chase that down, these two are going to go rescue a damsel in distress somewhere in a hell-hole called Grovetown filled with violent, racist assholes.
All manner of bananas shit happens
(man, Joe Lansdale can write a vivid fight scene!).
This book is not for sensitive readers, it’s triggering. Intentionally. The things Hap and Leonard go through isn’t watered down or palatable. Leonard is a gay, Black man in the South. Horrible people say horrible things to him. Hap is a very horny man. Women are seen with a male gaze. Nothing about this series holds back but it is tempered by a social justice and a moral compass that flows from the author’s heart, through the pen and on to the page where the reader can feel that energy throughout the entire story. Book to book. I love it. The Two-Bear Mambo was more action-packed than the previous two and while I enjoyed the fire our duo brought, I was hoping for that boil to simmer down. I’m hoping book four dials it back a bit but even if it doesn’t, I’m down to just be with my friends Hap & Leonard.
Sadie Hartmann
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