Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lansdale, Joe R.: Sunset and Sawdust

Set in the Texas backwoods which have become the regular location for Lansdale's novels, this tale is set in the 1930s when
oil was being found though the main activity in the area was lumber. Sunset kills her husband when he is beating her and
takes his place as the local constable much to neatly everyone's annoyance but her mother-in-law is the majority owner of
the lumber mill and has the final say. From being approached by a black farmer who has found a dead baby in a jar, the
story develops into one of murder with the discovery of the dead husband's dead mistress, the seduction of both Sunset and her daughter by a drifter, attempted fraud by altering the black farmer's land deeds to deprive him of oil and a violent and
murderous denouement. Incidentally, Sunset's father whom she never knew turns up and helps her stay alive and deal with
the villains. My recollection of Lansdale's earlier books is that they often had a supernatural element in them in some form;
here it comes with one of the villains having two distinct personalities which talk to each other. Very readable without being

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