COLD IN JULY is one of those books that fools the reader into a false sence of security before sweeping the rug out from underneath. Initially resembling a run of the mill crime novel, COLD IN JULY treats the reader with three distinct acts/stanzas, all a natural progression from one another. Beginning with a home robbery, then turning private eye, to ending a violent vigilante, COLD IN JULY provides three distinct reader experiences each as good as the other.
Woken by the sound of an intruder, husband and father of one, Richard Dane, murders the would-be robber in an act of pure self defense, kill or be killed. Little did he know the mans father would be released from a lengthy stay in jail shortly after learning of his sons murder resulting in more violence and invasion of Danes family home. Revenge runs red in the eyes of the beholder.
Just when you think you know where this story is going, author Joe R Lansdale hits you in the face with a double aught. Que police cover ups, Dixie Mafia, FBI witness protection, snuff films, and broken hearts. Not forgetting an uneasy alliance between Dane and Ben Russell, the recently freed from jail father. Lansdale really makes this multidimensional crime piece simmer in tension, steadily boiling over to violence.
I really enjoyed COLD IN JULY and can't wait to see the film adaptation.