16031149Subterranean Press’s second Hap and Leonard novella.

I was late to these guys, only finding them after half a dozen novels. It didn’t take long for them to become favorites.

In DEAD AIM, our two heroes get asked to help out a woman who’s soon to be ex-husband was harassing her. One guy she’d dated had gotten beat up, a couple of ribs cracked. He’d refused to press charges, claiming to have fallen down stairs. She didn’t want her husband hurt, just “discouraged” from bothering her.

The whole thing seemed goofy to Hap and Leonard, especially when they learned her lawyer was her first husband. They split assignments with Leonard staying at the home and Hap tailing the guy.

Jeez he was big Hap thought when he first spotted him.

Hap was on stakeout outside the man’s home when he hears a gunshot come from the house. Almost unwillingly, he sneaks down to the house armed with a pistol and an ax handle, slips into the open back door and finds the man shot in the back of the head, leaning like he was looking out the window up at where Hap was parked. While on his cell letting Leonard know the latest developments, the cops come piling into the place.

Though not at all hard to convince the cops he had nothing to do with it, wrong caliber gun for one thing, it did take up hours of their time.

Their next step wasn’t any help either. Checking out the beat-up guy that had dated their employer turned up two dead bodies, the man and his girl friend, both dead longer than the first body that had turned up.

The simple protection job had suddenly turned into something much more complex. As often happens with Hap and Leonard.

A nice, tight little tale from Joe Lansdale.