Thursday, September 2, 2021

More Better Deals

More Better DealsMore Better Deals by Joe R. Lansdale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When used car salesman Ed Edwards meets drive-in owner Nancy Craig, the sparks are immediate. The only hitch: Nancy's husband with a substantial insurance policy...

I'm a Lansdale fan from the pre-Internet age and it's hard for me to pass up one of his books. I'm a little behind in my mojo reading since my son was born but I finally made time to read this.

The setup for More Better Deals feels a lot like Double Indemnity but the characters and the execution are where the books diverge. Ed Edwards is a mixed race man passing as white, wanting to finally hit the big time instead of being a used car salesman. When Nancy shows up with a story about an abusive husband and the gates of heaven under her skirt, Ed is powerless to resist.

Since the big murder happens early in the book, there's plenty of time for the wheels to come off the plan and everyone to go to hell. Murder leads to kidnapping to whatever else before all is said and done. Complicating things are Ed's mom's drinking problem and everything that goes with it.

Lansdale's easy tone and hilarious dialog propel the story along. I could read a book about two Lansdale characters just sitting on tailgate bullshitting with each other. Nancy had a flashing neon sign reading "Trouble" pointed at her from the beginning but I could see where Ed was coming from. When shit goes south, it goes south hard.

More Better Deals is the high octane, mojo version of Double Indemnity. Four out of five stars.

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