By Joe R. Lansdale
Telling the tautly plotted tale of a contemporary Jack the Ripper's spree in Houston, Lansdale creates a robust blend of crime, police paintings, and social commentary--all with a watch for picture element. Act of affection, his first novel, is a collector's merchandise for Lansdale's outdated lovers and crucial studying for his new ones.
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He thought of home. Considered what he would do when he got there. He was tired but too keyed up to sleep. Perhaps he would eat a bite and read, and maybe, just maybe, he'd wake Rachel and see if he could find a bit of warmth there. But no, on second thought that wouldn't be such a good idea. First he had come in late last night from work and she had awakened. She always had been a light sleeper. And then there was the phone call this morning that put him on this crazy murder. No, a third awakening would not put Rachel in an amorous mood.
JoAnna, looking out the back window, saw something in his hand. Something long and shiny. Tommy gassed the car in reverse and it bounced over the curb and into the street. In less than thirty seconds the van was hot on their tires again, pulling neck and neck. The driver of the van, his hood pulled up over his head, looked like some kind of monk. " JoAnna screamed. And just as the van reached them, a tire on the Grand Prix blew . . Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? —From the opening of The Shadow Blood!
Hanson asked. "No. I mean frenzy. I mean it in the same way it's used to describe the feeding insanity of sharks and piranha. An uncontrollable urge, a temporary madness. In this case joy at the sight of blood and pain, or so I guess. The neck was hacked to pieces. " "Don't remind me," Hanson said. "Any of the other wounds were enough to do her in, the stomach for instance, but that would have taken longer. From the looks of the cuts on her hands and feet, and the nicks below her eyelids, I'd say he tortured her some.
Act of Love by Joe R. Lansdale