More Better Deals

Joe R. Lansdale's steamy noir thriller More Better Deals ignites when a slick used-car salesman meets a blonde who can't handle her car payments or her abusive husband.

Ed Edwards earns every cent of his commission at Smiling Dave's Car Lot. Dave pays Ed well, but Ed's job description includes the dirty work of repossessing cars when customers like Frank Craig get behind on payments. Frank's out on a drinking binge when Ed shows up to take the car, which is perfectly fine with Ed because Frank's wife, Nancy, is a beautiful leggy blonde. Nancy tearfully confides to Ed that she's had enough of her hardnosed husband, who feels the need to smack her around before and after sex. When Ed takes back the Craigs' car, replacing it with one she can afford, Nancy lets him fill some of her other needs. Between the bedsheets, Nancy and Ed come up with a plan to get rid of Frank. What could possibly go wrong?

Lansdale's novel doesn't come with a smooth saxophone-laden soundtrack tucked into the dust jacket, but readers may imagine hearing it anyway from the moment Nancy answers Ed's knock on her screen door. From the moment the author describes her as "arched eyebrows and lips that could talk a man into anything, maybe some women," it's obvious poor Ed will be doing whatever this femme fatale wants. Chapters are short and packed with a tightly twisted plot reeking of smoke, alcohol, steamy sheets and blood. An enormously satisfying experience that'll tempt readers to dust off their trench coat, fedora and best Bogart impersonation. --Paul Dinh-McCrillis, freelance reviewer

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