“Cold in July” is a hard-hitting crime thriller that is reminiscent of some of Tom Piccirilli’s works as well as the recent crime novels by Lee Thompson. It is a novel that quite literally has everything. Lansdale keeps the book exciting and always on the move but there is a real substance to the novel as it explores basic themes of humanity and morality. Richard gets involved in unravelling the conspiracy because he took a human life and needs to come to grips with what it means to take a life even if it is necessary to do so in self-defense. Russel is on a journey of self-discovery as he tries to understand what makes a good father and what sins of the child are directly attributable to the failures of the father. There is a lot of action and violence in the novel but there is also a heart beating at the center of the story that gives it power. I think that one of the highest compliments that can be paid to “Cold in July” is that there are very few writers who could have written this novel and who would have even dared to undertake the challenge. This book is a rare treat for fans of crime and noir fiction with a dark side and is a testament to just how good of a writer Lansdale is.
Read the rest of Hernandez’s review at the Minneapolis Books Examiner.
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Cover design by Elizabeth Story.