Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale

When a sickness hits town and his parents die, Jack knows he'll have to take care of his little sister and move on, but he doesn't know how.  His grandpa tells him to gather his things up, he'll get the wagon and take them to their aunt's house up north.  He doesn't even remember his aunt, but he does what he's told.  However there is more trouble coming...

Mulholland Books and Net Galley allowed me to download an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It was published September 10th, so you can grab a copy now.

This not a pleasant story.  It's authentic, mean, and a bit twisted.  Nobody is all good or all bad; they're just men trying to survive.  The bandits don't care about anyone, they just use them and kill them.  

As Jack and Lula get on the ferry with Grandpa, men ride up on horses and demand the same passage.  When Grandpa talks back, the man shoots him.  If that wasn't a bad enough loss, the boat is hit by a water spout that tosses everyone around.  When Jack wakes up, he realizes that he's on the opposite shore from his sister and the bandits have ridden off with her.  She's very young and he fears for her.  No one wants to go against those bandits.

He finds two men brave enough for such an adventure.  He has his property to barter with and that seems enough incentive.  The fact that one is a big black man who has a pet wild hog and the other one is a midget doesn't bother Jack.  It's their bravery and spirit that matter to him.

Mr. Lansdale puts some interesting twists in this story.  I could have never anticipated the ending.  This is a tale that holds your interest and makes you wonder what's going to happen next.  There is graphic death portrayed in the story, so don't read it if that bothers you.  I found enough other good points to keep reading and hoping that it would all work out.

Just remember, it's dangerous in the thicket.  You don't want to go in there.

Happy reading.

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