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Hot in December [Paperback]

Joe R. Lansdale
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Dec 2013
A psychological thriller in the vein of Dean Koontz and Lee Child, Hot in December is a fast-paced and entertaining novella from the author of Edge of Dark Water, The Bottoms and the Hap and Leonard novel series.

One death is only the beginning for Tom and his wife Kelly who witness a fast-driving car killing their innocent neighbor in the street.

Tom describes the driver to the police, but there is something he didn't anticipate: the driver belongs to a powerful criminal gang in East Texas.

The criminals make Tom and his family a target, abducting his wife Kelly and threatening his daughter. Now Tom must look to old war comrades for help in a brutal and unforgiving struggle to rescue his wife and bring justice to the notorious gang.

"A storyteller in the great American tradition of Ambrose Bierce and Mark Twain." - Boston Globe

"Joe R. Lansdale has a folklorist's eye for telling detail and a front-porch raconteur's sense of pace." - The New York Times Book Review

"One of the greatest yarn spinners of his generation: fearless, earthy, original, manic and dreadfully funny." - Dallas Morning News

"Reading Joe Lansdale is like listening to a favorite uncle who just happens to be a fabulous storyteller." - Dean Koontz

"Joe R. Lansdale's fellow Texans would call Joe a 'straight shooter.' That's what makes his writing so good-no BS involved. Joe's work is alternately scary, funny as hell, disturbing, but always (and most importantly) memorable." - Bruce Campbell

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Product details

  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Regions Press LLC (2 Dec 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1626410143
  • ISBN-13: 978-1626410145
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 0.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over thirty novels and numerous short stories. His work has appeared in national anthologies, magazines, and collections, as well as numerous foreign publications. He has written for comics, television, film, newspapers, and Internet sites. His work has been collected in eighteen short-story collections, and he has edited or co-edited over a dozen anthologies. He has received the Edgar Award, eight Bram Stoker Awards, the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Grinzani Cavour Prize for Literature, the Herodotus Historical Fiction Award, the Inkpot Award for Contributions to Science Fiction and Fantasy, and many others. His novella Bubba Hotep was adapted to film by Don Coscarelli, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. His story "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" was adapted to film for Showtime's "Masters of Horror." He is currently co-producing several films, among them The Bottoms, based on his Edgar Award-winning novel, with Bill Paxton and Brad Wyman, and The Drive-In, with Greg Nicotero. He is Writer In Residence at Stephen F. Austin State University, and is the founder of the martial arts system Shen Chuan: Martial Science and its affiliate, Shen Chuan Family System. He is a member of both the United States and International Martial Arts Halls of Fame. He lives in Nacogdoches, Texas with his wife, dog, and two cats.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Lansdale winner 5 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you've read and liked any of Lansdale's previous work, especially the Hap and Leonard series, then you'll like this, more of the same characters and East Texas civilian law enforcement, excellent stuff!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A grim ride 11 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Short and wicked, this is a fun novella from Master Joe Hisownself that might not present him at the top of his trade, but does not disappoint either. A dose of justice served up frontier-style.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cold hearts and hot lead 12 Dec 2013
By Wag The Fox - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
You don't have to do a lot to grab my attention when it comes to making a book cover. Putting the name "Joe R. Lansdale" on it is a surefire way to do it, though. I assume the title, "Hot in December," is a nod to one of Lansdale's more celebrated novels, Cold in July. There are certainly mentions of characters from previous novels in this taut little tale, so that seems entirely likely. The book definitely stands on its own, however.

Tom Chan, a veteran of the Afghan War, witnesses a hit-and-run in front of his East Texas home. As disturbing as seeing the face of a neighbor killed in a quiet neighborhood is for him, it's seeing the face of the man behind the wheel that sends Tom's life spinning out of control. He gives his statement to the police, then discovers the man he saw is Will Anthony, a notorious gangster from the area, and the psychotic son of a local drug lord, Pye Anthony. And the two grizzled detectives he speaks with make it pretty clear that if he agrees to testify against the guy, his life and those of his wife and young daughter will be put in great danger, even with police protection. With a solid sense of duty and unfailing moral compass, Tom decides to go through with it.

Through Lansdale's plainspoken and no-nonsense writing, Tom's ordeal has as much to do with revisiting his past as it does with fighting for his future. When it becomes abundantly clear that the police are limited in how they can protect him as they work to build a case against the Anthony clan, Tom turns to a couple of old army buddies, Cason and Booger. Cason is a reporter nowadays and not too much of a problem for Tom, but Booger is something else altogether. The hulk of a man is less a brother in arms than a golem at Cason's command, with an insatiable bloodlust. Booger is a last resort and only trustworthy by virtue of an unbreakable, unspoken bond with Cason. Even Cason makes it known to Tom that he is uncomfortable around Booger on account of just how easily the guy's killer instinct can be activated.

While Hot in December might feel a little by-the-numbers at first blush, it offers a palpable thriller with a hydra effect in the suspense department, as the treats are vicious and multiple, and you can never be too sure where the next one is going to come from. It's a superfast read with utterly captivating characters. There are a couple of twists that had me questioning the sanity of one character or another, but overall it feels fluid and organic, albeit in grizzly fashion by the time I reached the last page.

If you're a Lansdale fan, you don't need any further motivation to go read this book. If you haven't had a chance to read his work, Hot in December ain't a bad place to start. A younger reader might want a teddy wear while reading a book like this. You might want some Kevlar.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A REAL HAIR RAISER! I likee! 9 Dec 2013
By Jervan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hot In December is a real Booger! kept me reading until I finished. I Started it on a Saturday. Finished Sunday after the football games. That night I was up a lot, got the shivers. Checking sounds, doors, windows, that sort of thing. Thanx, Joe R.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hopping little novella from Lansdale 5 Jan 2014
By Cheryl Stout - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Joe Lansdale is one of my favorite authors. The Thicket and A Fine Dark Line are two of my favorite books - ever.

"Hot in December" isn't quite as good as these stellar examples of East Texas thriller suspense . It is a novella, though, and I'm quite sure if Lansdale had extended the story into a full-length novel, the caliber would be right up there with his best.

While still a great story, it did feel a bit rushed. Tom Chan, the protagonist of the story, is an interesting character trying to do his best in a very difficult situation. And his buddies, Cason and Booger (read Leather Maiden for more of their adventures) are bad asses especially sociopath Booger. Be warned there are some pretty graphic violent scenes in the story. But then this is Lansdale and he's not known for bucolic, pastoral scenes.

The whole idea behind this novella is 'what would you do to be a person of integrity, standing up for others, yet still protecting yourself and your family.' Would you be willing do the same as Tom Chan?
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Joe 6 April 2014
By mitch smith - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great writing, great characters and a balls to the wall story. No one does it better than Lansdale. He is the master.
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Entertaining Thrill Ride from East Texas' Master of Suspense 2 Mar 2014
By Daniel R. Robichaud II - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Joe R. Lansdale offers another thrilling suspense story set in east Texas. This time around, a hit and run accident serves as the trigger to danger. The murderous driver has organized crime connections, which makes things difficult for an eyewitness to the crime. The book fairly sizzles along in Lansdale's easy-but-breathless style.

Fans of the authors previous works will find shout outs to familiar locales and situations. Hap and Leonard get a mention, as well as appearances by characters from Leather Maiden. The title itself expresses at least thematic ties to Cold in July (again, we find a husband/father caught between doing the right thing and protecting his family). However, knowledge of these books is not necessary to enjoy Hot in December. It stands alone. Or maybe it runs alone, since it doesn't stop long enough to stand...
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