Leonard Pine is fast becoming my all-time favorite fictional character. When he's not bragging about his sexual prowess, badmouthing preachers, or burning down crack houses he is making some pretty heavy sociological observations with the sureness of a cynic and the realism of the streets. Add on Hap's wistful idealism tempered with blue-collar resignation and you might understand why the team of Hap and Leonard stand out as the rudest but most exciting characters to ever grace mystery and crime fiction. This second installment of the Hap and Leonard series continue the Lansdale tradition of hard-edge action suspense and a razor wit. The nice surprise here is that Lansdale also exhibits a street-smart wisdom regarding the inner city and the consequences of the American obsession with race and class. Yes, this is a mystery but the author is not content with putting Hap and Leonard through the predictable paces of the average who-dun-it. There are real emotions and real problems haunting this wise-cracking duo. This is the second novel I read in the series (I'm reading them in order) and I can't wait to find out the surprises in the next one.